BOSTON -- Its too bad the Bruins couldnt find a way to get through this first round series against the Washington Capitals.<br><br>The Bs could have been looking at a manageable, weakened opponent like the Ottawa Senators in the next round, and they would have had a skilled young player in Tyler Seguin that was finally starting to come around. The 20-year-old potted his second goal in as many playoff games during Wednesday nights 2-1 loss in Game against the Washington Capitals in Game 7, and provided the only real offensive energy for the Bs in a tired, flat defeat at the hands of underdog Washington.<br><br><img src="commonglobal_imagesblog_divider.png">With last year obviously winning it and all you feel lucky and fortunate. But you dont really grasp the whole worth of the Stanley Cup, said Seguin who lead both teams with seven shots on net and numerous scoring chances during Game 7. I think more and more you get to learn and losing here, we definitely get a new feeling.<br><br>Seguins goal was a thing of blue collar beauty as he fought through Washington defenseman Karl Alzner and John Carlson to get to a Johnny Boychuk shot that had trickled through Braden Holtbys pads before settling in the blue paint. Seguin barreled through both Washington defenders before flipping the loose puck in the back of the net.<br><br>I tried going in front of the net and I actually fell in front of Johnny Boychuk's shot, said Seguin. I kind of saw the puck laying there so I just dove in and whacked it with my stick.<br><br>Its the exact kind of grit and willingness to engage in one-on-one battles that those around the Bruins team have been waiting for to see in the youngsters developing offensive game. The humble pie served up when Bostons leading scorer during the regular season had been shut down in the first five games of the series will be exactly the kind of motivational burn Seguin is looking for while getting ready for next season.<br><br>I think the more games you play in playoffs the more experience youre going to gain, the more confidence and composure youre going to have for the next time it happens,: said Seguin. I look forward to next year.<br><br>That goes double for everybody around the Bruins organization thats looking for another big leap next season for a talented 20-year-old that tripled his point output from last season and became the youngest player in franchise history to lead the team with 29 goals scored.<br><br>Whats left to wonder is what kind of encore the ridiculously talented forward is capable of this early in his career, and how hungry an unlikely first round exit will make the premium hockey talent next season.
Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2016-17 Bruins. Today: Jake DeBrusk.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, after a busy morning celebrating my 3-year-old’s birthday at the trampoline park. Yee-ha.
*PHT writer Joey Alfieri says that adding toughness was a big offseason priority for the Montreal Canadiens.
*There’s at least one big fan of the Edmonton Oilers trade that brought defenseman Adam Larsson from the New Jersey Devils, and that fan’s name is Mark Letestu.
*Here’s everything you need to know about the Ice Guardians movie premiering this fall that takes a long, balanced look at the NHL enforcers.
*Roberto Luongo has an alibi for the robbery in Winnipeg with one suspect getting away in goalie equipment, and it’s funny as you would expect it to be.
*CSN Washington takes a look at the New York Rangers in their season previews for the Metro Division.
*I’m not entirely sure whether this “RIP Harambe” thing is genuine or meant to be ironic by the largely millenial group that seem so enamored with it, but I think it’s just stupid. I think the same with the crying Jordan meme…also stupid.
*For something completely different: a look at how Triumph the Insult Comic Dog learned how to poop on Trump’s politics.
From now until the beginning of training camp, Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2016-17 Bruins. Today: Danton Heinen.
Danton Heinen exploded into a high-profile prospect for the Bruins after finishing among the NCAA’s top scoring players a couple of years ago as a freshman along with a couple of guys named Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin.
Since then, Heinen has continued to produce offense at the University of Denver and continued to create offense that leads to points. Now, the 21-year-old Heinen will be entering the professional arena for his first full season with the Bruins and he’ll be attempting to transition from the prospect phase to a regular gig in the NHL. That’s the challenge for a talented player who appears headed into a very good opportunity in NHL training camp.
What happened last year
Heinen was every bit as explosive in his second season for Denver as he was in his brilliant freshman campaign. He improved on his scoring with 20 goals and 48 points in 41 games. Then Heinen signed with the Bruins at the end of his sophomore season and played in a couple of pro games in the AHL with Providence as a tune-up for this first full pro campaign with the Bruins organization. Heinen finished with two assists and a plus-1 rating in four games with the P-Bruins and showed the coaches in Providence that he was ready to play and produce with more talented players. If Heinen surprised a little bit as a breakout freshman two years ago, his sophomore follow-up in Denver last season proved to everybody that he wasn’t a fluke.
Questions to be answered this season
The real question surrounding Heinen is about his ceiling as an NHL player and just how good he can become as a player with the skills and playmaking abilities to be a top-six forward. He’s proven he can dominate at the collegiate level while admittedly playing with some pretty good teammates at Denver. Heinen showed at the end of the season in Providence that the pro scene might not be much different for him. At this point, Heinen simply needs to go out and prove it against the best players in the world and show that his speed, playmaking and hockey sense are all elite in the AHL or NHL. Heinen’s biggest obstacle might be his size. He'll need to survive as a targeted skill player despite not being much more than the 6-feet, 180-pound range for a forward. It’s about average for a playmaking wing in the NHL, but the hits and attention will be at a much more intense level than anything he faced in the NCAA world.
What they're saying
“He’s the type of player that he can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ and he’s got really good skill. I think anywhere you put him, he’s smart enough to figure it out. I think you’ll notice him during training camp. It will definitely be up to him, but I think he’ll push some guys.” –Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo on Heinen during last month’s development camp where Heinen soared as a performer.
While Heinen still has some things he’ll need to prove before he’s a regular contributor for the Bruins, he comes into the Boston fold as an experienced player following two very good seasons at the college level. So, Heinen should be a little closer to plug-and-play for Claude Julien than some of the other young players that have come through the system in the past couple of years. Heinen will still need to flash in camp while being handed a big spot to perform with high-end veterans Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Brad Marchand potentially off playing in the World Cup of Hockey. Heinen also has a much greater chance of winning an NHL job sooner rather than later after the Bruins lost out on the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes and still have a top-six forward opening that somebody is going to fill. Heinen and Frank Vatrano are the two biggest favorites to fill that position, which became vacant when Loui Eriksson departed for Vancouver. Whichever winger loses that battle should be also be a strong candidate for a role on the third line, as well, barring any late veteran signings by the B’s. That set of circumstances leaves a very good situation for Heinen to potentially walk into with the Black and Gold, but he'll still have to show he’s fully capable of seizing his good fortune and good timing.