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.