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.

Report: Celtics likely to guarantee Amir Johnson’s $12M deal for next season

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Report: Celtics likely to guarantee Amir Johnson’s $12M deal for next season

The Celtics will likely guarantee the second year of Amir Johnson’s two-year, $24 million deal he signed last season, the Boston Globe reported.

Johnson, 29, a 6-9 forward, signed as a free agent last summer, averaged 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 79 regular season games for the Celtics and 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in the six-game, first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks. 

Bruins, Krug agree to four-year, $21 million deal

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Bruins, Krug agree to four-year, $21 million deal

With the salary room created by buying out the final two years of veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg contract, the Bruins signed restricted free agent Torey Krug to a four-year, $21 million contract ($5.25 million cap hit) through the 2019-20 season.

The negotiations between Krug and the Bruins had been fairly quiet with GM Don Sweeney consistently stating that something would get it done and it seemed the writing was on the wall when Sami Vatanen signed a four year, $19.9 million extension with the Anaheim Ducks. The two are comparable players in size, offensive production, NHL experience and both also served in top-four roles last season while projecting to stay at that level of performance over the next four years.

The Bruins couldn’t afford to let Krug, 25, hit the open market, where another team could potentially poach Boston’s only true puck-moving D-man with an offer sheet. After signing a one-year bridge deal, Krug played in a career-high 81 games, with four goals and 44 points. His 40 assists were ninth among D-men in the NHL last season and it’s clear that Krug plays a vital role as a puck mover and power-play specialist.

Krug also stepped up in minutes last season, finishing only behind Zdeno Chara with a career-high 21:36 average of ice time and essentially serving as the B’s de facto No. 2 defenseman. The diminutive (5-foot-9) D-man did pay the price for playing such heavy minutes by undergoing shoulder surgery following the season, but Krug was expected to make a full recovery and be ready to jump into the lineup at some point during the month of October.

The signing of Krug is a big piece for Sweeney and the Bruins, who must prepare for what awaits them Friday, once the free agent market opens, and later in the month when they begin efforts to re-sign Brad Marchand to an extension. 

 

Bruins buying out veteran D-man Dennis Seidenberg

Bruins buying out veteran D-man Dennis Seidenberg

The Bruins placed veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on waivers on Thursday for the purposes of buying the veteran defenseman out of the final two years of his contract.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Seidenberg, who turns 35 July 18, still had two years remaining on a deal that would have paid him $4 million in each of the seasons. The move will save the Black and Gold roughly $4.6 million in cap space over the next two years.

Seidenberg confirmed the contract buyout to CSNNE.com and confirmed one other thing: "I going to miss it."

The extra space should theoretically allow the Bruins to spend big money on Friday when free agency opens, but the Bruins really haven’t been the lead suitors for any of the major available players to this point.

With the way buyouts work, however, the spread over four years means that the Bruins will still be including $1.16 million cap hits from 2018-2020, and are now down another experienced D-man who was a stalwart warrior for them over the years. Seidenberg clearly lost a step after blowing out his knee in the 2013-14 season and was a minus player for the first time in Boston last season with one goal and 12 points in 61 games.

The skating speed was noticeably slower and Seidenberg had trouble keeping up with the pace even as he continued to block shots and throw opponents around in the defensive zone. Seidenberg finishes his seven seasons in Boston with 23 goals and 117 points in 401 games as a rugged top-four defenseman. He will always be cherished in Boston for his marvelous stretch en route to the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Claude Julien pairing Seidenberg with Zdeno Chara midway through their first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens changed the tide of that playoff matchup and was the combo used by the B’s for the playoffs when they again made it to the Cup Final in 2013 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The German-born defenseman was a respected and tough veteran leader in the B’s dressing room and will be missed for his toughness and accountability whether it was good times or bad in the room.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Seidenberg was being placed on waivers for the purpose of being bought out of his contract.