Claude Julien: Tyler Seguin is going to ‘bust out’ of slump
|06.02.13 at 6:35 pm ET|
PITTSBURGH — Tyler Seguin still isn’t scoring, and that might catch up with the Bruins. They’re not panicking yet, however, as they have a one-game lead in the Eastern Conference finals to more exceptional work from David Krejci‘s line.
Seguin had zero shots on goal in 13:50 of ice time in Game 1 against the Penguins and had a bad giveaway in the offensive zone that led to a scoring chance for the Penguins the other way, but both Claude Julien and Seguin’s teammates say they’ve seen positive strides from the 21-year-old winger in recent games. Seguin scored his only goal of the playoffs in Game 4 against the Rangers and picked up an assist in Game 5. He played the entire Rangers series as a member of the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley.
“Maybe he hasn’t produced it at the level that he’d like to and maybe we’d like to, but I thought he played a real good game yesterday,” Julien said of Seguin Sunday. “I thought not only with the puck, without the puck he was good. [He] threw some checks, puck pursuit was good, and that line to me was much better line than we’ve seen him in the first two rounds.
“I thought they had some chances and I was encouraged by the way they played yesterday, and then as far as Tyler’s concerned, seems to be extremely focused and wants to be a better player and has a coach that’s all you need to see and at one point he’s going to bust out and give us the production that we’re looking for.”
So far this season, Seguin has just four points (one goal, three assists), with the lack of scoring a big issue considering he was second to Brad Marchand in the regular season with 16 goals. Marchand sees a player that’s as determined as Seguin was when he struggled to find offense after coming back from Europe following the lockout.
“I think he’s playing well right now. He’s battling very hard,” Marchand said. “That’s what you have to do if things aren’t going right, but the last couple games, the last series, he played much better. He’s battling harder, he’s getting opportunities and he got a goal and [an assist] there, so he’s turned his game around and he’s playing well right now.”
If Seguin doesn’t get going offensively and the Bruins don’t get the opportunity to use the Merlot Line much (as was the case in Game 1), one option could be to move Daniel Paille to the left wing of Kelly’s line, move Peverley to right wing and then use Seguin to take some of Jaromir Jagr’s shifts on the second line, much like Peverley did with Mark Recchi from Game 7 of the conference finals until Nathan Horton’s concussion in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.