|Bruins-Oilers Live Blog: Ryan Smyth has Oilers within one||11.10.11 at 6:57 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin doesn’t remember whether he was matched up with Taylor Hall a lot in juniors, but Hall certainly remembers Seguin. When asked the same question Seguin couldn’t answer a day earlier, Hall said he learned enough from playing against Seguin in the OHL that he has an idea of how to silence the Bruins’ leading scorer.
“I’ve played against him a lot in the playoffs. Over the last few years of my junior career, I played against him probably 20 times, so I kind of know what he’s all about,” Hall said Thursday.
Hall’s Windsor Spitfires swept Seguin’s Plymouth Whalers in the playoffs in 2010, a series in which Hall — whose line was out there against Seguin’s — kept Seguin from registering a point, while Hall picked up eight points in the four-game series.
Now, the tables are turned quite a bit. It’s Seguin who’s doing better statistically (15 points for Seguin compared to Hall’s nine), and while the Oilers boast the far superior record of 9-3-1, Seguin is the one playing on the defending Stanley Cup champions.
For that reason, Hall’s line with fellow young guns Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle might have a trickier time keeping Seguin off the score sheet. Even so, Hall hopes to draw from experience as he tries to silence the line he figures to see plenty of Thursday night.
“We had to play him really hard,” Hall said of Seguin. “We couldn’t give him a lot of time with the puck especially. Tonight — his line’s playing great, with [Brad] Marchand and [Patrice] Bergeron — we’re going to try to limit their time and try to play in their end and make them come 200 feet to score on us.”
|Tyler Seguin is tearing it up, even if he feels he should’ve had another hat trick||11.08.11 at 12:53 am ET|
The numbers speak for themselves.
A team-leading eight goals; points in 10 of 13 games played. Three goals in his first career hat trick on Saturday night in Toronto. Still only 19 years of age.
Seguin scored his eighth goal Monday in the first period of a 6-2 win over the Islanders. Truth be told, he could’ve had two more in the second period alone but ironically, he couldn’t find the finishing touch that had been on display for the last week.
“Yeah, there were definitely some plays where I got to grip my stick a bit harder and finish those off,” Seguin said with a smile. “But I’m glad a lot of guys stepped up tonight and scored some big goals.
“I think were starting to string a couple games here together now and staying consistent with the full sixty. And that’s definitely great to see. But the one thing we don’t want to do is fall right back into that basement with a loss in our own barn. We want to have a nice homestand here at home.”
Another habit the Bruins are developing is scoring in rapid-fire succession. Twice Monday they scored two goals inside of a minute span, including goals by Nathan Horton and Seguin in a 29-second span in the first period that put Boston up, 3-1.
“That’s a big thing for us, is definitely that shift after a goal,” Seguin said. “It’s huge and I think Krech’s [David Krejci] line did it tonight back-to-back. That’s one of the biggest shifts in hockey. So right now we’re doing a good job at capitalizing on it.
“I don’t know if we really look for it. Again, consistency is a huge thing for us right now. Especially this early in the year, we can’t have bad habits creeping up on us. So it’s nice to play a full sixty again.”
|Tyler Seguin shooting a ton, but feels he can do more||11.02.11 at 8:55 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin has been able to bring more to the table offensively as a second-year player. Through 11 games, he has 11 points (four goals, seven assists), which both leads the Bruins and is half of his point total from his rookie season.
Seguin assisted Patrice Bergeron‘s second-period goal in Tuesday’s win over the Senators, but he had a few questionable plays in the first period. The most notable of those plays was one in which he beat a defenseman at the blue line and passed up a breakaway for an attempted drop-pass. The play resulted in a turnover and left anyone watching wondering why he didn’t shoot on the play.
‘Yeah, I do think that I need to shoot more,” Seguin acknowledged Wednesday at TD Garden. I remember there was one play ‘ I don’t remember if it was in the first or second last night ‘ I went down on the D and kind went one way and cut back the other way and when I watched the replay, I almost had a clear breakaway but I decided to pass. For whatever reason, my first instinct is always to try and look back but I know I’ve got to stop maybe being too fancy and just put pucks to the net. I know I’ve seen myself, when I shoot more, being rewarded. I think I’ve got to continue doing that and not give away good shots.’
The long-beaten-to-death topic of wing vs. center with Seguin comes into play in such a case, as he admitted Wednesday that because he is a natural center, his instinct is to distribute the puck rather than shooting it himself. At any rate, Seguin is still shooting way more than he did last season. The 19-year-old is on pace for over 268 shots on gaol this season, as he’s averaged more 3.27 shots on on gaol per game through the first 11 contests and is second only to Bergeron (39). Last season, Seguin put 131 pucks on net in 74 games.
Bruins coach Claude Julien also wished that Seguin shot the puck on that first period play Tuesday, but he didn’t fault the youngster for the decision he made.
“In that case, you probably wish he would have taken it to the net and maybe even drawn a penalty on that because he had half a step, but you’ve got to also realize that those two players behind him were kind of open and a guy like him is a really good playmaker,” Julien said. “You don’t want to be too hard on those kinds of decisions.”
|Report: Tyler Seguin has hip condition||10.28.11 at 5:51 pm ET|
McDonald writes that the team is not currently concerned over what the condition may mean for Seguin in the near future, though Seguin could suffer a hip injury if he does not maintain strength in the area.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told McDonald that the condition is “nothing to be alarmed about” and that approximately 70 percent of the Bruins have some sort of hip issue.
“I’m not going to comment whether it’s congenital or not,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t want to get into details what we think it is or isn’t and I don’t want any alarm bells going off. Like I said, you can go through our roster and there are probably 12 or 13 guys with something similar or the same thing.”
|Andrew Ference on D&C: ‘We needed a little shakeup’||10.21.11 at 10:47 am ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning for his weekly appearance. After the Bruins’ dominating 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs Thursday night, Ference talked about Boston’s line changes and improvement on the power play.
“It’s one of those things, the power play was actually working pretty good, we were getting the puck around, we just weren’t putting it in,” Ference said. “We were working towards larger things on the power play and we felt that it was doing a lot of good things, so it was a matter of time.”
The Bruins scored twice on the power play against Toronto, with Ference assisting on one of those goals. In addition to better play from special teams, the Bruins also benefited from some line changes made by coach Claude Julien in recent days. The top line of Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin was particularly effective against the Maple Leafs. Ference said that the line changes helped the Bruins get back to focusing on the simple parts of the game.
“I think it helped, it energized guys I think a bit, just to give them a little kick in the pants,” Ference said. “I think when you change linemates, you get out of your comfort zone a bit. You really just concentrate on doing simple things, like skating hard, getting to the net, throwing pucks at the net.
‘ª”It was a good move. We needed a little shakeup. Guys were a little bit stale with the old lines and you can always go back to them, but I think just letting guys concentrate on the simple things really helps.”‘¬
Ference also talked about emotions running high in the Bruins’ loss to the Hurricanes on Tuesday and forward Shawn Thornton‘s value to the team.
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
On Boston’s penalty-filled loss to the Hurricanes: “I think that game, the emotion was a byproduct of the frustration. When our team’s good, the emotion’s just a part of our game. It’s not forced, it’s just there. I think that I mentioned after the game, the game of hockey within its rules allows us to be very physical, allows us to be emotional without hitting the box all night. When our team’s playing well, sure there are fights here and there, but we’re just a physical team all the time. We’re always hitting, always forechecking, always giving teams no room. … In a game where there’s a bunch of fights and a bunch of penalties and it’s just kind of chaotic with the physical stuff, that’s going to happen once in a while but that stuff’s definitely not something that we define ourselves as.”
|Five stats on the Bruins through five games||10.17.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
Five games into last season, one could hardly tell the Bruins were going to be Stanley Cup champions, but a couple of things were apparent. For starters, it was clear that Tim Thomas was capable of playing at a high level again after his offseason hip surgery, and it seemed that Nathan Horton had it in him to play some big games for the B’s.
Now five games into this season, there are a few things that are apparent about this team, though injuries to the likes of David Krejci and Adam McQuaid have made it tough to effectively gauge some things.
The Bruins started off the season in a 1-3-0 funk, but may be coming out of it after their 3-2 shootout victory over the Blackhawks Saturday in Chicago. Up next is a four-game home stand with the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Canadiens coming to town.
“I feel we’re turning the corner here,” coach Claude Julien said Monday of the team after five games. “I liked our game in Chicago, the way we progressed through tut the day. Today in practice we seemed to have a much better pace. Hopefully that’s a good sign of us turning the corner.”
Here are five quick stats on the Bruins through five games, with a look at last season as well.
1. Tyler Seguin leads the Bruins with five points, which is a little less than a quarter of his 22 points from all of last season. He also leads the team with a plus-3 rating and has 16 shots on goal, good for tops amongst forwards and second only to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
2. Last season, Horton led the team with seven points through five games. This season, he has a goal and an assist through five contests, struggling mightily in the first few games of the season before seemingly finding himself of late. Bottom-six forwards Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron (who has only played in three games) are the only Bruins’ forwards with less than his five shots on goal.
3. Thomas has won two and lost two this season, allowing eight goals in four games. Five games into last season, Thomas had allowed three goals in four games, and had won all four of his starts. He picked up his first shutout in the second game of the 2010-11 season and went on to have two more by the end of the month.
4. Bruins were 4-for-19 on the power play through five games last season. This season, they are 1-for-21, as they have not scored on the man advantage since Brad Marchand scored on the team’s first power play of the season.
5. Seidenberg leads the B’s in ice time with an average of 25:26 a night yet also has a minus-2 rating that is tied for worst on the team. Further proof that plus-minus rarely tells the whole story.
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