Seguin finds a home at the top

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Seguin finds a home at the top

BOSTON -- Its only been two games, but its looking like Tyler Seguin has found a home on the Bruins top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

The trio hasn't enjoyed the explosive scoring stretch that Marchand and Bergeron had last season when they were finally paired with Mark Recchi in the month of January, but it would take an act of the hockey gods to break up a group of forwards that seem made for each other.

Clearly Seguin is a phenomenon to himself as a 19-year-old mega-prospect finally coming into his own after getting tapped as the No .2 overall pick in the draft last summer, but he also knows that he needs skilled players like Bergeron and Marchand to compliment his offensive game. Both Bergeron and Marchand can help finish off Seguins creative play on the ice, and all three skate with the kind of speed, force and suffocating tenacity that far outweigh any downside.

I like playing with Bergeron and Seguin. I thought we played well together and really clicked out on the ice in the offensive zone, said Marchand. If we play like that consistently then hopefully were going to be a dangerous line, and that will allow us to stay together.

Seguin was good in a combination with Milan Lucic because he really forced the power forward to get his feet moving more quickly, and a pairing with Chris Kelly allowed the Bs two-way center to cover for some of his defensive inefficiencies along the way.

But the newly reconfigured gold line can effectively fore-check with speed and force, gives Seguin a pair of consistent finishers in Bergeron and Marchand and provides Seguin with the perfect lead-by-example player like Bergeron.

Everybody saw what happened in the second period against the Sens earlier this week when Seguin found Bergeron with a good-looking drop-back pass and the longtime Bs center showed the ability to pounce all over plays created by the second-year Seguin. Its no coincidence that Bergeron and Seguin are shooting the puck with more frequency than anybody else in the Black and Gold uniform, and that could be a dynamite playmaking combo moving forward.

Ive bounced around lines, and I never know what sticks and what doesnt, said Seguin. But Im going to just play my role and try to create chemistry with my linemates. Bergeron and Marchand both have great speed and were 1-1 as a team when were together. So we feel good as a line, and Im just stepping in trying to create speed and playmaking skills.

Theres plenty of long range wondering about Seguin as well with any number of trades potentially opening up a top-six roster spot for somebody hungering for a regular NHL job. Hypothetically any deals could open Seguin up for a chance to be one of the top two centers on the Bruins as early as this season, but it appears the Bruins are happy to have Seguin skating up and down the wall on the right wing. The daily responsibilities of a center are something Seguin will slowly or rapidly become accustomed to along with every other part of his game.

The long-range plans for Seguin are legion in Boston, and they include a great many things from the center position. But dont expect that move to the middle to come down this season permanently, and instead count on the youngster to form one of the most exciting lines in hockey alongside Marchand and Bergeron.

Blackhawks edge past Bruins with late goal in 1-0 win

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Blackhawks edge past Bruins with late goal in 1-0 win

BOSTON -- Anybody looking for an emotional, high-energy response from the Bruins after back-to-back putrid losses to the Islanders and Red Wings didn’t get it on Friday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.

Instead the Bruins had plenty of shots with zero goals to show for it, and then gave up a goal to Marian Hossa on a nifty tic-tac-toe passing play to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 regulation win over the Black and Gold. It was the third straight loss for a Bruins team that continues to sink down in the playoff picture at a time of years when the results are the only thing that matters.

The defeat could also very well cost B’s head coach Claude Julien his job as a lifeless Bruins organization looks for any way to get out of the mud they’ve been stuck in for the last six weeks.

The Bruins and Blackhawks couldn’t crack the scoreboard for the first 50 minutes in regulation, and the genuine scoring chances were few and far between for both sides.

Tim Schaller and Patrice Bergeron had scoring chances down low in the first period, and Joe Morrow had a breakaway turned away by Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling early in the proceedings. But the scoring chances and sustained attack really began to dry up in the second period, and it became a series of one-and-done shots on net for both sides.

As one would expect both goalies were stellar with Darling putting together a 16-save performance in the first period, and Tuukka Rask turning away several Blackhawks chances including an Artem Anisimov wrist shot off the rush with just a couple of minutes to go in the third period. Rask finished with 21 saves, and Darling finished with 30 saves in a big win for the Chicago backup netminder. 

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It certainly sounded like there were some things that made the Wednesday night loss in Detroit a little different for the Bruins.

The Bruins media corps conducted postgame interviews in the hallway rather than in the visiting dressing room after what must have been a combustible atmosphere immediately following the shootout defeat. 

There was also evidence of anger in the visitor’s dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, according to reports, with a door off its hinges when the media was able to get a look inside the dressing room area.

David Backes confirmed something was different about the loss after blowing a pair of three-goal leads, and failing to follow up their dreadful no-show vs. the Islanders with a winning performance against another bad team in Detroit. The B’s forward said the plane ride home from Detroit was solemn and quiet, and that it was clear the Bruins team was “wounded” after a crushing loss.

“Both [losses] can be great lessons if we learn from it, and neither was very enjoyable. That was probably the quietest I think our guys were all year on that plane ride home from Detroit,” said Backes. “To me, that’s a great sign that it hit us in the heart, and it hit us where it really mattered. We’re thinking about how we can turn the tide and thinking about we can be victorious the next time out.

“We had the lead, and in a lot of instances you’re expecting, as you should, to come out of there with two points. We’re at the time in the season where wins need to be garnered and taken home.

“There were a lot of aspects where we should have grabbed the game back. When you feel like you’ve had a lot of opportunities to take the game and you don’t do it, it’s not a good feeling. I was reflecting on that during a very quiet team plane ride back from Detroit, and it seemed pretty clear that the whole team was feeling wounded. I think it’s a good sign that guys were feeling that way, and that means they’re going to do everything in their power to not have that feeling again.”

The words are encouraging from a 32-year-old natural leader in Backes, who has seen good times and bad as captain of the St. Louis Blues in his 10-year NHL career. But the proof is ultimately on the ice where the Bruins have games against the Blackhawks and Penguins coming up and face some very stiff tests coming off a couple of losses against the worst teams in the East that exposed Black and Gold fragility at this point in the season.