|Looking back and ahead: Tyler Seguin||05.11.12 at 1:16 am ET|
With the Bruins’ season in the books, WEEI.com will take a look at each player on the roster one-by-one to provide some perspective on what went wrong this season and what the future holds for the 2011 champions.
2011-12 stats: 81 games played, 29 goals (career-high), 38 assists (career-high), 67 points (career-high), plus-34 (career-high)
Contract status: Signed through 2012-13 season ($3.55 million cap hit), restricted free agent after next season
Looking back: After serving as a bottom-six forward and occasional healthy scratch as a rookie, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft entered the 2011-12 season as a third-liner, but it was clear that he would be given more opportunities in his sophomore campaign.
Both production and opportunity would come early on for Seguin, as he racked up three assists over the first two games and was eventually bumped up to the top line when David Krejci missed three games in October with a lower-body injury. He found some good chemistry with Milan Lucic while playing on that line, and he eventually found a full-time job as Patrice Bergeron‘s right wing on the second line with Brad Marchand.
The combination of added experience and an opportunity to play on both Bergeron’s line and the power play paid huge dividends for Seguin and the Bruins. He more than tripled his total of 22 points from his rookie year and led the Bruins in both goals and points. He averaged 16:56 of ice time in the regular season after averaging 12:13 as a rookie.
Seguin showed in his second year that he still isn’t as willing to go into the corners and take contact as some of his more physical teammates, and while that may be frustrating to watch, physicality has never been part of what Seguin offers. To his credit, he was at his toughest when it mattered most after a very quiet start to the playoffs, as he lunged toward three Washington bodies in the second period of Game 7 against the Capitals to tie the game at one goal apiece. It was one of two goals he scored in the first round, with the other one coming in the form of a game-winning goal in overtime of Game 6 to force the series’ final game.
It wouldn’t be a proper evaluation of Seguin’s sophomore campaign if Winnipeg wasn’t mentioned, as Seguin was scratched for missing a team breakfast and meeting the day of the Bruins’ Dec. 6 loss to the Jets. The story was beaten to death — he used the time zone excuse without realizing the time zone excuse couldn’t apply to the situation, Claude Julien announced to the media that it wasn’t a story, etc. — but it was a major story for good reason. It all served as a reminder that Seguin is still maturing both on and off the ice.
Looking ahead: As far as production goes, the sky is the limit for Seguin. He’ll continue to be a top-six forward for the Bruins and a major part of the team’s attempt to ice an improved power play going forward. He’ll still be just 20 years of age at the start of next season, and the expectation should be for him to put up nothing less than a 30-goal season after knocking on the door in his second campaign.
The biggest question with Seguin regards which position he will play. He played center in the Ontario Hockey League and his play as a pivot earned him comparisons to Steve Yzerman. He was drafted as a center, but since coming to the Bruins has played primarily as a right wing.
Because of Seguin’s shortcomings in the defensive zone, he benefits from skating on a line with Bergeron, so will the B’s keep him as a winger on Bergeron’s line or enter next season with a plan to make him a full-time center? Depending on where things stand with Nathan Horton, Seguin could also skate on Krejci’s line as a winger, as he did for a stretch late in the regular season and in the final games of the first round.
Eventually, the Bruins would probably have to hope that Seguin could develop into the team’s first-line center. Whether that will happen in the youngster’s third season remains to be seen.
|Bruins explain injuries to Patrice Bergeron, Adam McQuaid, Tyler Seguin||04.27.12 at 1:30 pm ET|
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron had to play the final four games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals with a strained oblique and a broken nose.
The oblique injury was suffered in Game 3 against the Capitals, and it got worse before eventually forcing him out of Game 5 in the third period. He played in Games 6 and 7, but only took one faceoff in each of the final two games.
Bergeron had a scoring opportunity in overtime against the Capitals in Game 7, but couldn’t control the puck and sent it wide of the net. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday that the injury prevented him from making the play, noting that Bergeron “couldn’t stretch for it.”
Adam McQuaid did indeed have a concussion from the hit that he took from Capitals forward Jason Chimera on March 29. McQuaid suffered a cut above his eye, causing pain that he said may have masked his concussion symptoms at the time. He tried returning on April 5 against the Senators, but didn’t feel right and came out of the game in the second period.
In other injury news, Tyler Seguin might need surgery on a detached tendon in one of his knuckles on his left hand.
|Bruins-Capitals Game 7 preview: Seven stats, players to watch and keys to victory||04.25.12 at 12:08 am ET|
It’s all about seven as the Bruins host the Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Here’s everything you need to know and more, with seven the central theme.
‘¢ According to some impressive research done by Brian McNally of the Washington Examiner, Jay Beagle has an incredible 61.6 success rate in the faceoff circle (53-for-86). Even more impressive is that he’s won 13-of-21 faceoffs against Patrice Bergeron, who led the league in faceoff wins during the regular season.
‘¢ Tim Thomas‘ 14 goals allowed through the first six games of the series equals the total he allowed in the first six games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals last season against the Canadiens. He faced only 12 more shots against the Habs through six than he has entering Wednesday’s Game 7.
‘¢ Alexander Ovechkin has two goals and two assists for four points and a minus-1 rating in four career Game 7s. He and the Capitals have gone 1-3 in those games.
This series, Ovechkin is tied with Rich Peverley with five points.
‘¢ Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic each have four career points in Game 7s to lead the Bruins. Lucic has three goals and an assist in six Game 7s while Marchand had two goals and two assists in three Game 7s last postseason.
‘¢ This series is the only one in NHL history to have the first six games decided by one goal. Both teams have scored 14 goals apiece with no empty-netters.
‘¢ Dennis Seidenberg has played in four Game 7s and won them all. He has four assists and plus-4 rating in those games, and has never had a negative rating in a Game 7.
‘¢ The Bruins have scored on the power play in just one of their six Game 7s since 2008. That game was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers, a contest in which they scored two on the man advantage. Since 2008, the B’s are 2-for-13 on the power play in Game 7s.
|Tyler Seguin bears down and ‘finally’ gets one, and it was a big one||04.22.12 at 8:28 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin played the role of hero Sunday in Game 6 at the Verizon Center in Washington as he scored just over three minutes into overtime to give the Bruins a 4-3 win over the Capitals and force a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Wednesday night in Boston. Seguin came flying down the slot and took a feed from Milan Lucic. He held the puck long enough to make Caps goalie Braden Holtby commit before flipping the puck into the vacated net for his first career playoff overtime goal.
“I saw the goalie challenging and I just tried to make a quick move and luckily, it went in,” Seguin said. “I think this series we’ve had a lot of chances and opportunities and I haven’t been bearing down or finishing them off. It’s just really nice to get that feeling of finally getting one.
“When you’re a little kid, that’s your dream, get those big goals and keep your team alive. Looking back on my career so far, that’s probably one of the biggest goals I’ve got.”
Seguin was demoted to the third line in Game 5 after failing to score in the first four games. He admitted the lack of production from the top two lines was something on the mind of every Bruins player.
“We really though going into tonight’s game we needed to get production,” Seguin said. “I thought we’ve been playing well. The guys that were getting production in the season haven’t been getting too many good bounces so far in the series. To see it happen tonight and see guys finally get rewarded is definitely nice.
“It’s been a great series. Washington is a great team and we’ve been battling and for whatever reason, including last year, we never to seem to make it easy on ourselves. We always want to go the extra mile. Game 7 at the Garden, that’s what we’ve been working for, home-ice advantage, so hopefully we seize the opportunity.”
|Seguin says seven: Bruins stay alive||at 6:22 pm ET|
WASHINGTON — It wasn’t pretty, but the Bruins found their way to Game 7.
After blowing three separate one-goal leads, the Bruins were redeemed by a Tyler Seguin goal 3:17 into overtime to give them a 4-3 win Sunday and force a Game 7 with the Capitals, which will be played Wednesday at TD Garden.
The game was tied at 2 late, and with the Bruins driving to the net, Andrew Ference banged home a rebound off a Seguin shot to give the Bruins the lead shortly after the team had killed off a Benoit Pouliot penalty. The Capitals then tied it with less than five minutes remaining when Alexander Ovechkin beat Tim Thomas following a Nicklas Backstrom faceoff win in the Boston zone. That set up Seguin’s OT heroics.
The Bruins had initially taken the lead in the first period on a goal from Rich Peverley. Mike Green tied it later in the period, and David Krejci scored his first goal of the postseason to give the B’s a 2-1 lead after one. Jason Chimera tied it late in the second period before Ference eventually broke the tie.
Thomas made 35 saves on 38 shots in regulation, while Braden Holtby made 28 regulation saves for Washington.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— The Bruins got a power-play goal for the second straight game when Krejci gave the B’s the 2-1 lead in the first period. With two goals on the man advantage this series, the 2011-12 Bruins scoff at last year’s 0-for-21 effort in seven games against the Canadiens. The Bruins finished the day 1-for-5.
— After a woefully quiet and frustrating first five games of the series, Krejci finally got one. Remember, he also went the entire first round last postseason against the Habs without a goal. That means Sunday’s second-period tally was Krejci’s first goal in the first round of the playoffs since April 26, 2010, against the Sabres, a span of 13 first-round games.
— After a poor showing in Game 5, Thomas was better for the B’s on Sunday. He came up especially big for the Bruins in the second period, when he made 14 saves in a period in which the B’s were outshot, 15-5. The best save of the day for Thomas came in the second period when he dove across his net to stop Marcus Johansson with the blade of his stick.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— Greg Zanon has had a pretty rough go of it this postseason, and his bad fortune continued on Green’s first-period goal. With Gregory Campbell laying out to block a potential shot, Green waited until he had space before firing a shot from the left point at the bodies in front of the net. The puck went off Zanon and into the net, tying the game at 9:47 of the first period. The Zanon-Mike Mottau pairing did not play get another first-period shift following the play and got very few shifts afterward.
— Bergeron returned to the lineup, but he was clearly limited. He only took one faceoff in the game (which occurred in the final minute of regulation), instead deferring those duties to Rich Peverley. As far as Bergeron’s game went, he twice committed the no-no of an offensive-zone penalty. Bergeron went off at 10:01 of the first period for tripping Karl Alzner and returned to the box at 15:44 of the second for high-sticking Alexander Semin.
— The fourth line also was on the ice for Washington’s first goal. Perhaps because of Bergeron’s injury, Claude Julien played Jordan Caron in place of Shawn Thornton. A potential reason for the move may have been that because Bergeron was clearly limited, the team would need another top-six-caliber forward should he exit the game once again.
— The Capitals got the game-tying goal on an ugly play for the Bruins. By the looks of how he went down, it looked like Brad Marchand was elbowed by Chimera in the Capitals’ zone. While Chimera finished the play by scoring, the Bruins did not. Marchand went down to the ice, grabbing his head but getting no call. Replays showed that contact might not have been made, but Marchand did catch himself in the face with his stick when he spun.
— For the second straight game, Pouliot took an offensive-zone penalty in the third period of a tied game. Pouliot left his feet as he finished his check a little too late on Alzner at 8:50, resulting in a roughing call that gave the Caps a great opportunity. The B’s got through the two minutes safely, effectively killing off the penalty.
|Claude Julien: ‘Maybe in trouble, but we’re not dead’||at 10:50 am ET|
The Bruins know the refrain by now.
The series isn’t over till you win four games.
“Well there’s certainly lots of guys in that dressing room that have gone through that and there’s some others that are new to our hockey club that have to manage that as good as they can,” Julien said. “A guy like [Brian Rolston], he’s got some experience so our guys that we’ve gotten are experienced guys so I don’t see that as an issue. We’re down 3-2 in the series and most people will tell you, until they win four games, that’s when the series is over. So we’ve got an opportunity to get back into this series and create a Game 7 and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
There were positives from Saturday that the B’s will try to carry over to today in Washington, like Milan Lucic getting in front of the net time and time again in the third period. Lucic’s “jam” in the slot created a point-blank chance for Tyler Seguin with 10 minutes left. Only a superhuman effort by Braden Holtby kept the Bruins from a late lead in their own building.
“There are some good things ‘ I don’t think now’s the time to start collaborating all those things with players,” Julien said. “Sometimes you’ve got to feel that sting a little bit in order to get yourself ready the next day and we’ll address that tomorrow certainly before the game. Still a lot of good things that we did tonight and you look at some of the missed opportunities ‘ Seguin is one, he had grease tonight and those opportunities were there for him, so that’s a positive. You wish he would have put some of those in and it’s a different outcome. But building on the positives, and as I said, we’re maybe in trouble but we’re not dead and we’re certainly going to make tomorrow a game that’s going to create a Game 7 for us.”
Johnny Boychuk finally blew a cannon past Holtby to tie the game on the power play to tie the game, 3-3. He sees a lot of hope.
“I thought we came out really well,” he said. “Again, [Holtby] played extremely well ‘ he made that one stop and stretched out and got it with his toe. We did play well, but it wasn’t good enough. They scored more goals than us and that’s the end of the day. We lost the game and [today], we have to win.”
|Thoughts on the Bruins’ new lines||04.20.12 at 11:03 pm ET|
Claude Julien has changed his lines an uncharacteristic number of times this postseason, but his latest work is more drastic than perhaps any of the tinkering he’s done this season.
Out of the top six are Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. Seguin skated with the third line in Friday’s practice, while Brad Marchand was back to the Merlot Line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton.
Marchand began last season on the fourth line before moving up to Patrice Bergeron‘s line mid-season and never looking back. After finishing second on the Bruins with 28 goals in the regular season, he’s been among the many B’s who have opened the postseason with rather uninspired play.
Here are what the lines were in Friday’s practice, according to reports:
“Making line changes, that’s a part of trying to find solutions and it’s as simple as that,” Julien told reporters after Friday’s practice. “You’ve got to mix up guys who are not getting the results that we’d like to, so you’re trying to make changes that will maybe spark that part of our game.”
Here are some thoughts on the new lines for the Bruins:
– Not one line is the same as it was when the postseason began. The most radically changed trio is Bergeron’s, as Rich Peverley played only parts of the last two games with Bergeron, while Daniel Paille makes the jump from the fourth line.
– Julien obviously did this hoping that he can wake up some of his snoozing superstars. The top two lines in each game have gone scoreless thus far this series, as the team has had to rely on bottom-six forwards primarily for their scoring.
– While Seguin has been one of the Bruins’ worst players this postseason, taking him away from Bergeron is a risk. Seguin has underachieved in the past when playing on lower lines, but perhaps Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot — two of Boston’s better forwards this series — can get him going.
– The Bruins are deep enough that they can be tied in a series through four games despite the fact that their best forwards have been kept off the score sheet, but the Bruins really need to get something out of David Krejci. If Krejci repeats his first-round performance from last postseason (one assist), the B’s could be in trouble. Remember, he was having difficulty generating points against Carey Price in the first round a year ago. This is Braden Holtby, and the Bruins still haven’t consistently tested him for three periods.
– The Bruins should try to get Jordan Caron into the lineup, but for whom? As bad as Seguin was in the first three games before looking a little better on Thursday, scratching your regular-season leader in points should be out of the question. Caron brings a strong two-way game and had a stretch of eight points (four goals, four assists) in six games in March.
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