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.

Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

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Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

BOSTON -- The Bruins locked up a piece to a blue line that was godawful last season in announcing they’d signed Kevan Miller to a four-year, $10 million contract.

They also retained one of their own young restricted free agents, center Seth Griffith, by reaching agreement on a one-year, two-way deal with an NHL value of $625,000 per season.

Miller, 28, played in a career-high 71 games last season -- his third with the Bruins -- and established career highs in goals (5), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He also posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (plus-15) and generally seemed to be playing his best hockey down the stretch.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Miller was also forced into playing 19:04 of ice time per night while oftentimes serving as a top-pair D-man alongside Zdeno Chara. That resulted in a high number of mistakes and turnovers at critical times against the opposition’s best offensive players.

The rugged, hardnosed Miller obviously isn’t going to be judged solely by the numbers. He's also evaluated by the big hits, blocked shots and air of intimidation in the defensive zone. That said, a four-year contract is a bit of a head-scratcher, given that Miller wasn’t expected to command that kind of deal as an unrestricted free agent on the open market.

That four-year deal, which carries a yearly cap hit of $2.5 million, would also seem to hint at the impending exodus of Adam McQuaid or Dennis Seidenberg, or both, given the number of limited stay-at-home defensemen on the roster now making decent NHL money.  

The bottom line: Miller’s contract will be a good one if he can settle into a steady, top-four role. But it will be another overpay if he winds up being the bottom-pairing D-man many see him as at the NHL level.

Griffith had 24 goals and 53 assists for 77 points in 57 games for the Providence Bruins last season, and also had an assist in four games for Boston. He'll get another chance this year to compete for one of the winger jobs at the NHL level with plenty of competition.

Morning Skate: Following Bruins prospect DeBrusk and former All-Star Thornton

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Morning Skate: Following Bruins prospect DeBrusk and former All-Star Thornton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while thoroughly enjoying “Chewbacca Mom.”

*Good piece on Bruins first round pick Jake DeBrusk, and his solid performance during Memorial Cup play.

*A couple of my friends over at NHL.com have attempted to put together a World Cup of Hockey roster for North America.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance on Jumbo Joe Thornton, and what those who know him best say about him.

*Speaking of the Sharks/Blues conference finals, Vladimir Tarasenko is scoreless through the first five games of the series. That doesn’t bode well for the Blues.

*Actor Will Arnett proves that nobody is better at predicting the outcome of Stanley Cup playoff games than him.

*Longtime Director of Player Personnel Scott Luce is out with the Florida Panthers as their restructuring continues in this spring and summer.

*Gustav Nyquist is disappointing with his scoring numbers from last season, and is looking for a bump up next year.

*For something completely different: Chewbacca Mom visited with James Corden on late night television, and the results were both funny and kind of heartwarming.