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How will Tyler Seguin respond to demotion?

04.08.13 at 1:38 pm ET
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Tyler Seguin

With Claude Julien shuffling the lines Saturday and again on Sunday, no player has gotten more attention than Tyler Seguin. The third-year player began Saturday’s game at center in place of the concussed Patrice Bergeron, was moved back to wing after a rocky start against the Canadiens and then demoted from the second line to the third line Sunday.

Saturday’s game was Seguin’s second of the season at center, as he centered Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr Thursday night, but he was 3-for-12 on faceoffs and was a far cry from Bergeron defensively. The line was on the ice for the Canadiens’ first goal Saturday night, and Seguin was replaced in the middle by Rich Peverley midway through the first period. In Seguin’s defense, the expectation should have been that Seguin would struggle at center early on in the experiment, which makes it rather puzzling that Julien would try it in the first place if he was going to pull the plug so quickly.

“I figured it would take a little while,” Seguin said after Monday’s morning skate. “I wasn’t expecting to snap right back into it right away. Obviously, that would have been nice, but I knew it was going to take a bit to adjust. I think when you’re going into a game like Montreal, it’s a big game. I guess there shouldn’t be any time for adjusting. You just have to go out there and do it, and I wasn’t doing it.”

Seguin, who was drafted as a center after playing center in the OHL, said that he wasn’t surprised that Julien broke up the line and moved him back to wing.

“Well, it wasn’t working,” he said. “We were out there for the first goal there and it just wasn’t good work in our own zone. We were kind of running around a bit, and I can’t say I was shocked that it got changed.”

Whenever Julien does anything involving Seguin, there seems to be some level of outrage on the part of the fans. It dates back to Julien limiting his ice time when Seguin was timid as a rookie, and it’s continued up to Saturday with Julien not putting Seguin, who led the Bruins with 29 goals last season, out on the ice at the end of a one-goal game with the B’s on a 6-on-4.

While coaches will be scrutinized no matter what, why isn’t there any finger-pointing being done at the player? People love railing against Milan Lucic whenever anything goes wrong, but is criticism of Seguin not allowed?

Seguin had no shots on goal Saturday, marking the second time in a seven-game span that he’s failed to get a puck on net. Seguin’s the fastest player on the ice almost at all times, yet he still loses races for pucks if there’s a chance getting there first also means getting hit. Is he Boston’s most talented player? Sure, but at age 21 he is not without his faults. Maybe Julien bumping Seguin out of the top six is his way of making the former second overall pick work his way out of some bad habits.

Seguin, who did not speak to the media Sunday, didn’t make any complaints about the situation Monday. He can’t be happy with being taken off the second line, but if he’s mad, he’s keeping it to himself.

“I think we’re mixing things up,” he said. “I’ve played third line before, I guess my first year and not so much last year. I’m just going to go out there. Obviously Kells is a playmaking player to play with as well.”

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