WILMINGTON, Mass. – Tyler Seguin’s ice time didn’t rise in his last couple of games, and he remained on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. But the 21-year-old forward has shown signs that he’s about to bust out offensively.
Seguin finished with three points in the final two games against the Rangers, and had six shots on goal, all of them coming in the Game 4 loss at Madison Square Garden, where No. 19 was one of Boston’s best players. The Bruins will need more of that scoring from the right winger, who could single-handedly turn Boston’s offensively-challenged third line into the threat Boston needs them to be.
Claude Julien likes what he sees out of Seguin, he just needs to keep seeing more of it while Jaromir Jagr plays on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Most of the damage Seguin has done in the last couple of playoff games was on the power play with other highly-skilled players, not during five-on-five action with Kelly and Peverley.
Still, Julien has noticed an uptick in his forward’s compete level, and Seguin does have more registered hits (21) in the playoffs than fellow forwards Nathan Horton, Marchand and Jagr.
“I think Tyler has been fine. If anything, he’s competed a lot harder. He’s battling, he’s in there. I think on the power play he’s made some good plays and he’s done a good job,” Julien said. “I think right now, to me, that line in the last two games was better. They’re kind of getting to know each other a little bit better and finding each other on the ice a little bit easier.
“Today in practice, same thing, I saw the same thing. We know that that line is going to be an important line for us in the next round [against the Penguins]. But right now I see that line improving.”
It’s a positive that the Bruins coaching staff has seen signs of offensive life on their third line. But it will need to be Seguin that provides the spark. Kelly and Peverley have teamed up for just one point and a minus-10 rating in 23 playoff games this spring.