Seguin rediscovering his game after lull

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Seguin rediscovering his game after lull

It looks like things might be turning around for Tyler Seguin.

After going through an offensive slowdown that saw the 19-year-old pot only two goals in 14 games and getscratched in a road gamefor disciplinary reasons, Seguin is heating up once again. He earned an assist on Brad Marchands game winning goal in the Bs 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden, and has chalked up three points and 11 shots on net in his last two games.

The high-powered winger was also part of the Boston quintet on the ice that allowed Montreals first goal when the B's wall of defensecouldnt slow down Tomas Plekanecs rush into the offensive zone, but thats become a trade-off that the Bruins are willing to make. The entire team defense suffered a letdown in the second period, but Seguin made up for it with the perfect tape-to-tape saucer pass straight out of the nasty hockey skills handbook to set up Marchand's game-winner.

With Tyler its starting to come around again. You can see those kinds of offensive plays, said Claude Julien. I wouldnt say its half and half, but there are times in the game where we see some of the things that hes struggling with.

But then hell go out the next shift and do the things that we know hes very good at. That consistency is something Seguin is working on. Those offensive plays hes been making have been more of his nature are encouraging right now because it shows that hes working his way out of it.

Seguin has responded with three points in his last two games, and is still on pace for 37 goals and nearly 80 points for the kind of scoring totals the Bruins havent witnessed in several seasons. So what was the key to Seguin turning things around with so much swirling around the second-year player? What was the answer to counteract his offensive slowdown that seemed tocoincide with the disciplinary actions taken against himin Winnipeg after missing a morning meeting?

We all go through little valleys in the season, said Seguin. Its about finding that consistency and dealing with that self-frustration when youre not getting points.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara actually sat down with Seguin while the team was in Ottawa, and the veteran leader sensed his young teammate was straying from his game out of sheerdesperation. Charas message in the conversation was simple: Scale things back to the foundation of your game and focus on your offensive skills.

That little chat between seasoned leader and fresh-faced youngster left Seguin empowered with the same kind of confidence and determination that marked his start to the season. It also allowed the 19-year-old to relax and take the weight of the world off his shoulders while the Bruins kept churning out the wins.

Offensive struggleshaven't reallyhappened to me much in my career, but I really felt a difference after having a conversation with Chara in Ottawa, said Seguin. I give him a lot of credit. He told me to get back to what Im good at and stop getting frustrated about not getting points or whatever. It goes a long way. I dont know if he realizes it, but I could see it on his face when he was talking to me that he really cares about me. He told me whats up and it was something that really worked for me.

I had been thinking a lot. I know my strengths are skating and shooting, and I had a lot of shots on net in my last game. I know I had a few more shots tonight. I know Im getting back to that.

Seguin isnt all the way back to the electric offensive talent that sparked the Bruins in the opening months of the season, but hes back on the road to the top thanks to some inspirational words from his captain.

Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

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Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

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.

 

Countdown to camp: Danton Heinen

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Countdown to camp: Danton Heinen

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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.

 
Outlook

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. 

Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

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Bruins’ new Warrior Ice Arena practice facility to open Sept. 8.

The Bruins’ new practice facility has been years in the making and they will finally get to officially open the doors to Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton next month. 

The B’s players will start informal captain’s practice skates at the new facility on the New Balance property in these final days of August, but the team announced on Friday that the new facility will be officially opened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs, team president Cam Neely, general manager Don Sweeney and a number of players will be on hand for the opening ceremony and ensuing open house for the media. Also planning to attend from New Balance will be Owner and Chairman Jim Davis and NB Development Group LLC Managing Director Jim Halliday, along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. 

Following the formal portion of the event, Warrior Ice Arena will host the “Boston Youth All-Star Game featuring Bruins Alumni” which will feature local squirt players from the Boston communities of Allston-Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, South Boston and West Roxbury mixed in with members of the Bruins alumni. 

The Youth All-Stars will team with Bruins alumni and they will play the first official game before the ice is turned over to the current Bruins players for their training camp later in the month.

The Warrior Ice Arena gets its name from the Warrior brand of hockey equipment that is now a division of New Balance and comes with a 79-foot high Warrior hockey stick that greets visitors at the front entrance doors.

Warrior Ice Arena will be the B’s new and permanent practice home after the Bruins spent 25-plus years practicing in the suburbs of Boston at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington.