Lightning trying to ‘stop’ Tyler Seguin, Claude Julien wishes they’d stop ‘flattering’ Bruins
|05.19.11 at 1:31 pm ET|
TAMPA — Nobody — even the biggest “play Seguin at all costs” crybabies — could have expected what Tyler Seguin has done in the Eastern Conference finals.
Since making his playoff debut in Game 1 of the conference finals, Seguin has had six points (3 G, 3 A) and has gone from an injury replacement to a big problem for the Lightning in a matter of six periods.
“The first two games, it’s clear the players and everybody underestimated his speed,” Tampa coach Guy Boucher said of Seguin. “That’s the main thing. His speed is obviously a weapon for him and his team. Being a young guy and having success right away, it certainly takes a lot of the nervousness away, and for us we know he’s going to be on the ice and we have to be able to keep up with his speed.”
The praise from the Lightning wasn’t limited to Boucher, as one player who knows Seguin’s style better than most said the team needs to find a way to prevent the rookie from taking over another game like he did in Game 2 (2 G, 2 A).
“He’s obviously someone we’ve got to try to stop,” Steven Stamkos said of Seguin, who came into the NHL billed as “the next Stamkos” by many. “He’s playing really well and has been their top player.”
Amidst all the Lightning’s talk of how great Seguin has been and how he’s burned Tampa, Bruins coach Claude Julien thinks he knows just what Tampa is trying to do. Prior to the series, Boucher said Tim Thomas was the best player in both the regular season and playoffs and had everybody, including the Lightning, “scratching their heads.” Julien simply feels the other team is killing the Bruins with kindness.
“Tampa has been very good at complimenting our team. They do a really good job of that. I think Tampa’s got some pretty good speed themselves. [Martin] St. Louis and those kind of guys, Stamkos, they’ve got the same kind of players. I think they’re pretty well-served on their side. I don’t think they’re worried about Tyler more than they want to flatter him.
“We know the mind games that teams play. Right now, we’re just focusing on what he have to do here, and if anything, I would be more tempted to compliment my own players, such as St. Louis and those guys, that are just as good as Seguin when it comes to speed.”
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