BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara is an old hand at this NHL All-Star Game thing. But this year, he'll get to experience ofwatchingit allthrough the eyes of a 19-year-old prodigy: Tyler Seguin. Seguin, Chara and Tim Thomas were the three B's players chose to represent Boston at the NHL All-Star game in Ottawa at the end of January.
I think its a great thing for him, obviously," said Chara, a five-time All-Star, of Seguin. "Its an honor for him and for anybody who is selected. Im sure its going to be a good experience for him to see all these players.
There are a lot of top players from different teams in the league that all get together. Hopefully hell learn from them and carry it with him. Hes come a long way from last year.
The All-Star weekend activities will take place in Ottawa two weeks from today at Scotiabank Place, and start again withthe much-ballyhooed player draft that opened last year's festivities. Seguin took part in the rookie competition at last year's All-Star weekend in Carolina, but participating in the game itself this seasonis a whole different thing. It's a mark that Seguin has truly arrived in his second NHL season.
I was very surprised, obviously its a dream come true," said Seguin. "Last year I went as a rookie player and I got to see a little bit. But obviously I wasnt one of the All-Stars. I was just fortunate enough to be one of the rookies and meet those guys last year.
"Many of the All-Stars were my idols growing up. So you know . . . going as one of them is going to be a great experience.
Seguin leads the Bruins in scoring with 17 goals and 38 points and leads the entire NHL with a plus-33. He's sorry, however, that Patrice Bergeron was left off the team as one of the most surprising snubs of the selection process.
I was really surprised at that. I give him so much credit for my success," said Seguin. "Not only for how he plays and how many opportunities he gives me but, you know, just being the guy that I can really follow . . . not only on the ice but off the ice. I give him upmost credit.
Bergeron wasnt available for commentafter the Bruins' 2-1 victory over the Canadiens Thursday night at TD Garden. Perhaps thats a good thing if the classy,young center was disappointed by the All-Star Game snub.
He was only 5-for-15 on faceoffs and missed a wide open net on a 2-on-1 in the second period of the Bs victory. He didnt appear to be himself for the 15-plus minutes he was on the ice, and may have been expecting he'd get the call from the NHL this time around. InsteadBergeron willsimply have to go on as the most criminally underrated player currently skating in the NHL.