Seguin hoping for big performance on 21st birthday

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Seguin hoping for big performance on 21st birthday

BOSTON -- Tyler Seguin wanted the legions of Bruins fans to know hell be paying attention to all the birthday posters and well-wishers in the TD Garden stands after they were so prevalent last season.

When he turned 20 years old in a home game against the Ottawa Senators it was like one big birthday party with 18,000 of his closest friends.

Of course Seguin also finished scoreless with a minus-2 in that game, so hes hoping for a better performance as he readies for a possible Northeast Division alley fight with the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden for his 21st birthday.

Yes, that means Seguin is finally legally allowed to buy a case of Budweiser in Massachusetts if he so desires. He joked he might feel a giddy sense of freedom driving by a package store as so many young adults do when they final reach the legal drinking age in their 21st year.
One year closer to 30 I guess. I guess I need to find a girlfriend soon or something. I dont know, said Seguin with a wide smile. Nah . . . just kidding. Weve got a big game here to worry about. Thats important.

More importantly Seguin is also looking to get on track offensively after potting just one goal in his first six games. His head coach, Claude Julien, has admitted that the 21-year-old has looked out of sync with his game.

Seguin tallied that lone goal this season on Monday night during an empty net situation against the Carolina Hurricanes, and the hope is that will start him on the offensive rampage many predicted to start the year after dominating Europe.

In truth, Seguin only had one goal through his first six games last season, though he did have a couple more assists. So he hasnt been terribly off his normal numbers and hes had a few scoring chances that havent dropped for him. Hes also helped the Bruins score two extra points with successful shootout strikes against Winnipeg and New Jersey despite TD Garden sausages flying by him as he executed his offensive moves.

Im hoping for more hot dogs or bananas or whatever gets thrown out there tonight, said a laughing Seguin. Obviously its tough not getting too many goals, but in the end you have to be a confident person no matter what is happening. You just stay focused and stay with it, and theyll come eventually.

The Bruins organization has felt that Seguin is slowly adjusting back to the smaller NHL rinks after his time in Europe, and the major decrease in time and space with the puck that goes along with less ice surface to work with. The Bs forward didnt disagree with that, but also felt like its time to get things moving at the end of the second week of regular season games.

Were getting wins and thats really all that matters right now. Ive always said it takes five games to adjust back to North AmericanNHL rinks and were at game seven now, said Seguin. My first few shifts in Switzerland I didnt even touch the puck, so theres an adjustment both ways. Its going to come.

It sounds like the best 21st birthday present Seguin could possibly hope for would be the offensive breakout game hes been waiting for this season.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


 

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Blidh/Beleskey-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask

McIntyre