Seguin hoping for big performance on 21st birthday


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.

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.