BOSTON – It’s been something of a tale of two seasons for Tyler Seguin and Patrick Kane, the two hotshot scorers who played together for the Swiss League's EHC Biel during the NHL lockout. Still, their fates have been intertwined since then.
Their time in Europe seems like a long time ago to Seguin, who clearly enjoyed his time playing with Kane -- someone who's developed a level of NHL infamy over the years for his party boy behavior off the ice.
But the 21-year-old Seguin has also marveled from afar at the year that Kane has put up in Chicago while rehabbing his image, and reaffirming that he's one of the best offensive talents in the game. Just over the weekend, Kane put together a hat trick -- including the overtime winner -- to eliminate the LA Kings and stamp Chicago's ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals, where he'll see Seguin's Bruins.
“It’s funny how it all works out in the end, right?” said Seguin. “He’s definitely a great player, and he just recently has gotten very hot. So we have to be ready for him.”
Both players dominated during their time in the Swiss League, but it’s been a different story since they came back to North America and the NHL in January. Kane racked up 23 goals and 55 points in 47 games for the Blackhawks in a Hart Trophy-worthy season, and Seguin struggled with consistency in his third NHL year while putting up 16 goals and 32 points in 48 games.
The transition from Switzerland back to the NHL seemed to be particularly difficult for Seguin, and the differences have been even more striking during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
While Kane has caught fire, Seguin has been dropped to the third line after scoring just a single goal and four points in 16 games.
Despite struggling (by his standards) at the beginning of the postseason, Kane has six goals and 14 points in 17 playoff games and is heating up offensively at exactly the right time for Chicago . . . and the wrong time for Boston.
“I think he’s definitely an incredible player, and very shifty. When he has that spark of confidence, he’s definitely a dangerous player,” said Seguin. “You could see it [Game 5] after he got that goal the game before, and it seemed like he was a different player than he was earlier in the series.
“He definitely won [Game 4] for them, so we know he’s coming in pretty hot and we need to be ready. They’re a complete team, they play the same style as us and they have a very quick ‘D’, so we need to be ready for them bringing the puck out.”
One couldn’t help but speculate that Seguin was thinking a little about himself as he spoke about Kane's confidence. For the young Bruins forward, there is still time to do plenty of offensive damage in the Stanley Cup Finals. All he needs to do is find his breakthrough moment, just as his former Swiss teammate did last week.