Haggerty: Seguin breaks through at just the right time


Haggerty: Seguin breaks through at just the right time

WASHINGTON Tyler Seguin normally has the smirking confidence of a youngster who's used to achieving whatever he sets his mind to.

He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft, he won the Stanley Cup as a rookie, he developed into an All-Star forward in his second year, and he finished his sophomore season leading the Bruins in goals scored and points.

But even the gifted 20-year-old struggles at times, and that was never more true than during the Bruins' first-round series against the Washington Capitals.

Heading into Sunday's Game 6, Seguin was riding a 16-game playoff goal-scoring drought. He was shying away from the battle areas on the ice, and hadnt registered a single point in the first five games of the series against Washington.

But that all ended Sunday.
In the third period, he stripped a Capitals player of the puck near the blue line and zinged a shot off Braden Holtby.The play created a rebound that bounced to Andrew Ference, and -- after Ference fired the puck into the open side of the net -- Seguin had his first playoff point of the year.
And then he scored his first playoff goal of the year -- and sent the teams back to Boston for Game 7 -- when, afterDavid Krejci stole the puck from Nicklas Backstrom three minutes into the OT session and got it over to Milan Lucic, Seguin took a pass from Lucic and streaked all alone toward the net.He waited until Holtby committed himself and left his skates, then swept the puck around him and deposited it into the net for the game-winner.

It was a moment of sweetness that made up for two weeks of offensive struggle while his team couldnt rub two goals together in the tightest of first-round playoff series games.

I think in this series weve had a lot of chances and opportunities and I havent been bearing down and finishing them off, said Seguin. Its just really nice to get that feeling of finally getting one.
Seguin admits he sometimes gets a little frustrated when shots arent falling for him, but thats when he'll have a heart-to-heart talk with his road roommate for the last two years, GregoryCampbell.
Well, Im not a motivational speaker, said Campbell. Ive been roommates with him two years now and Ive developed a relationship where I could tell that he was extremely disappointed during the week. Hes a star player. Hes going to be the face of the franchise sooner rather than later. He cares a lot and the growing pains have been there for the last two seasons.

He put together a lot of points for us, but everybody expects so much out of him. Hes had a giant bear on his shoulders out there in the playoffs.

Seguin didnt enjoy a game for the ages from beginning to end, but he started heating things up in the third period. The defensive play that set up Ference's goal was especially pleasing to coach Claude Julien.

Its a good point and we talked about that in the dressing room after the game. He made a great defensive play before we scored that go-ahead goal in the third, said Julien. Hes been a player thats grown, matured, and is understanding more and more of how important it is to play a good two-way game in the playoffs.

It was a moment of sweetness that made up for two weeks of offensive struggle while his team couldnt rub two goals together in the tightest of first-round playoff series games.

The Bs wunderkind wont always be the youngest guy out on the ice at all times, but is slowly earning the respect of even the crustiest hockey players with his determination to learn the game the right way and his ability to excel under pressure.

Tim Thomas called it Seguins coming out party as an NHL superstar after his Game 6 performance, and it is clearly another one of the great early chapters of a book thats going to be written with the Bruins for a very long time.

Subban replaced in second period, Bruins lose to Wild, 5-0


Subban replaced in second period, Bruins lose to Wild, 5-0

BOSTON – The Bruins had to feel like things would go badly for them with both of their usual goaltenders on the shelf against the Minnesota Wild.

That’s exactly what happened with Malcolm Subban getting pulled in the second period for the second time in his two-start NHL career, and the Bruins ultimately falling by a 5-0 score to the Wild at TD Garden. Subban lasted a tad more than 30 minutes in this game, but looked shaky in allowing two goals in a span of 12 seconds to Minnesota as they took control early in the second period.

Weymouth native Charlie Coyle floated a spinning, surprise shot through the glove hand and leg pad of a slow-reacting Subban, and Chris Stewart followed by roofing a shot while all alone in front following the ensuing face-off.

Subban made a nice save on Marco Scandella to temporarily stop the bleeding, but was pulled from the game when Ryan Suter beat him low to the glove hand with a power play strike midway through the second. Subban was pulled after giving up the third goal of the night, and Zane McIntyre was ostensibly better even if he allowed a Jason Zucker deflected shot past him to give the Wild an insurmountable four goal cushion.

The Bruins tried to rally for something in the third period, but there wasn’t much going on after the shaky defense and subpar goaltending knocked all the wind right out of them. Jason Pominville scored late in the game on a rebound goal to round out the scoring. The scary part is that Tuesday night’s loss to the Wild represents the first of six games against worthy opponents that made the playoffs last season, and there’s no hint of when Tuukka Rask or Anton Khudobin might be ready to return.