Seguin working towards shoot-first mentality

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Seguin working towards shoot-first mentality

BOSTON -- It will likely serve as a refresher course for Tyler Seguin when its looked back upon later in the season, and nothing more.

The 19-year-old was talking shots on net and staying aggressive after Wednesdays practice after only registering a pair of shots on net in Bostons 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Seguin did notch an assist when he fed a trailing Patrice Bergeron for a snappy looking second-period goal that highlighted the youngsters superior vision on the ice, but he also turned down some good chances to pursue his own offense.

There wasnt a more clear example than the very same second period when Seguin had turned on the jets to split through two Senators defenders something hes done multiple times already through his young career and carved out an open pathway to the net where one hadnt existed just seconds prior by leaving Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson in his dust.

Instead of pressing the issue with a shot on Craig Anderson or drawing a penalty on one of the defenders now in chase mode, Seguin attempted to throw a drop-back pass to Brad Marchand trailing on the play. That pass which happened prior to Seguins sweet set up on Bergerons goal was deflected away from Marchand, and amounted to very little where it could have been a big play generated by Bostons best offensive playmakers at a time of need.

Seguin was aware that he needs to be a little more assertive with his own offense at times rather than caving into the centers first instinct to pass the puck.

I do think I need to shoot more," said Seguin. "I remember there was one play last night where I went down on the D and went one way and cut back the other way. I watched the replay and I almost had a clear breakaway but I decided to pass.

My instinct is always to look backdoor, but I've got to stop trying to be maybe too fancy and put pucks to the net. I know I've seen myself this year when I shoot more being rewarded, so I have to continue doing that and not give away good shots."

But on the other hand Seguin is second on the Bs with 36 shots in 11 games, and has done a good job of putting himself into scoring position as attested by his team-leading four goals a spot he shares with Milan Lucic on a team that hasnt really hit its goal-scoring stride quite yet. Bergeron actually leads the Bruins with 39 shots on net this season, and it makes sense to pair the teen-aged playmaker with a skilled two-way center like Bergeron that will be able to finish off some of the plays out on the ice.

Coach Claude Julien thinks his young point-scoring hotshot is going to get better at plays just like the one from Tuesday nights game, and it comes with experience, confidence and perhaps even a little toughness at times.

We reviewed the video, and personally you wish Seguin would have taken it to the net and maybe drawn a penalty there, said Julien. He had half a step, but there were also two players behind him that were kinda open. Guys like that are playmakers, and you dont want to be too hard on them when theyre making decisions like that.

You see the pass he made to Bergeron, so hes capable of making those plays. You dont want to take that away from him. Hes a guy that can take the puck to the net with his speed. There are times where hes capable of taking it to the net, and a young player builds confidence and gains confidence in taking it to the net. Theres always a chance youre going to get slashes or whacked on the ankles taking pucks to the net, and you have to be willing to do that.

Its a fine line with Seguin, of course. Hes already second on the team in shots and he has a wonderfully unselfish bent to his game where hes looking to set up his teammates for scoring chances on the ice. None of that needs to change if Seguin gets just a touch more assertive when the puck is on his stick with a chance to do some offensive damage.

Because more and more thats looking like Bostons best option to put a couple of goals up on the board.

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.