PITTSBURGH Even when Tyler Seguins offensive production slows down as it had with one goal and four points in his last nine games headed into Monday nights showdown with the Penguins the 19-year-old sniper is still dangerous.
Thats perhaps one of the biggest differences between this season and his rookie year when he managed 11 goals and 22 points.
Seguin has the confidence to jump up and strike an opponent when hes run into a little bit of a wall, and that was the case with his power play goal minutes into the third period that put the finishing touches on a 3-1 win over the Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center.
The goal gives him a team-leading 13 goals and 25 points in 25 games this season, so Seguin is keeping his point-per-game pace up. But the two shots on net and minus-1 in 13:02 of ice time signify that the Bs natural born scorer is fighting through a second-year lull thats bound to happen to a player learning at an exceptional rate.
He admitted following Bostons 14th win in 15 games that hes become frustrated in the last few games, and is hoping to recreate the magic and playmaking that typified the first six weeks to his breakout season.
Hopefully I can stop getting so frustrated in my head and start playing well, said Seguin. Its something I have to try to avoid. A lot of times people say its hard to stay consistent in this league and its something Ive heard many times. Its something Im trying to crack.
Im the first one to admit that I feel that way sometimes. Its bugging me that Im falling into that. But Im working my out of it and playing as strong as I can.
The goal itself was a thing of beauty with the Bruins opening the final period with a power play to start the action. Patrice Bergeron carried the puck into the offensive zone on the right side, and hit the turbo button while speeding past a flat-footed Matti Niskanen en route to the net. Bergeron got Marc-Andre Fleury to commit to Bergerons shot, and the center flipped a pass across the ice to Seguin for a scorched one-timer that gave Fleury zero chance to recover.
As it with many of Seguins pinpoint shots the puck hit the netting and bounced back out of the crease area like a rocket, but there was the goal. It was one the youngster wanted badly.
I dont know how many goals Id have if I didnt have Bergeron and Marchand on my line, but it was just nice to finish it off, said Seguin, who described the goal as nothing more than a tap in.
Production will come with Seguin once he gathers another burst of frenetic energy and gets back into lockstep with Bergeron to become the two-man fore-checking nightmare they represented through the majority of the season. Its simple reality that a youngster as talented as Seguin is going to find consistent excellence as more teams and more defenses pay closer attention to him with and without the puck.
Just witness the exchange between Sidney Crosby and Seguin after the teenager bumped Pittsburghs center prior to a whistle and cover-up in Bostons end during the first period. Crosby took notice and launched a few verbal barrages at Seguin, and the youngster returned fire on the Face of the NHL.
"I have the utmost respect for Crosby. He's one of best players in the world, said Seguin. But youve just gotta chirp back sometimes.
Thats the kind of answer that lets you know Seguin is figuring it out on the ice and will solve whatever has ailed him over the last 10 games. The third period power play strike might have been the start of something good.