Tyler Seguin is on the right end of the learning curve
|05.18.11 at 12:53 am ET|
Following one of the most stunning playoff performances by a rookie in Bruins history, 19-year-old Tyler Seguin took it all in stride. Seguin, playing in just his second playoff game after the concussion to Patrice Bergeron at the end of the second round, took over and amazed the TD Garden crowd with a second period performance for the ages.
“It’s definitely tough watching from above,” Seguin said of his vantage point as a healthy scratch from the press box in the first two rounds. “I try to take everything in and learn as much as I can, but it’s hard sitting there and not being able to help the boys. I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity I got.”
After scoring a goal and an assist his first playoff opportunity in Game 1 Saturday night, Seguin took over in the second period with the Bruins down, 2-1. He scored the first of his two second-period goals 48 seconds in to tie the game. He would add another goal while setting up both of Michael Ryder‘s second-period tallies.
“I think it’s just the learning curve,” Seguin said. “It’s been a whole learning curve all year. As the year went on, I’ve felt more confident and more poised. In big games, I always want to step up. Tonight, I had some lucky bounces, but I was trying to take advantage of all the opportunities and they were going in tonight.”
And to think he was snubbed by the mighty Canadian World Junior team in 2010, presumably because the coaching and development staff didn’t think he was ready to put his talent all together on the world stage.
“You know, a little bit,” Seguin admitted of the motivation factor. “Whenever I face adversity, I always try to take a negative and turn it into a positive. Watching the first two rounds, I could still learn a lot and see the game from up top. So whenever I get the opportunity again, whether it’s getting cut in World Juniors and going back to OHL or being the press box and coming back to the team, I want to take advantage of every opportunity.”
That opportunity began in earnest when he was picked No. 2 overall last summer by the Bruins and now, all of a sudden, it’s paying big-time dividends. On Saturday night, he scored his first-ever playoff goal and recorded his first playoff assist. He doubled both totals in the second period Tuesday night. In his first five periods of NHL playoff hockey, he has six points, half the total amassed by team leader Patrice Bergeron, whose place he took on the roster as Bergeron recovers from his concussion.
“Really with my time off over the last couple weeks, I’ve been working on driving the net hard and picking up speed in the neutral zone,” said Seguin, who scored a highlight reel goal early in the second to send the Garden crowd into pandemonium. “On that goal today, I just kind of cut to the neutral zone and there were two D and I just tried to beat them with my speed and I just wanted to mix up the move and not do the same thing I did last game, so it worked out.
“I’m not thinking too much into that. I know if the injury came, and it’s tough losing one of your best players, Bergy. I wanted to take advantage of my ice time, whatever it may be and stay consistent with that. Tonight I thought I had another strong game and if the opportunity comes next game, I’ll try to extend it.”