Seguin youngest to lead B's in scoring

580568.jpg

Seguin youngest to lead B's in scoring

BOSTON -- If the Bruins are going to successfully defend their Stanley Cup, they're going to need goals from Tyler Seguin.

That may seem like an obvious statement. Because it is.

Nathan Horton (concussion) and Michael Ryder (no longer on the Bruins) aren't going to be on the ice when the playoffs begin. They combined for 16 goals last postseason, including five game-winning goals.

Somebody will need to carry that load. And that somebody will need to be Seguin.

The 20-year-old winger became the youngest player in Bruins history to lead the team in scoring on Saturday, after scoring a pair of goals and finishing his second regular season with 29 goals and 38 assists in 81 games.

That's quite a jump from his rookie season, which he finished with 11 goals and 11 assists in 74 games.

The Bruins will also need him to make that jump in the postseason, and improve upon his three goals and four assists from last year's playoff run.

"I think experienced helped me a lot least year, playing a couple of Game 7's, and the Stanley Cup Final Game 7. Thats going to go a long way," said Seguin. "So, lets hope the experience with all the little things, the details of the game, the defensive zone, and Im going to do well."

But what also will help Seguin is the pair of goals he scored on Saturday, in the regular-season finale. Sure, if Seguin didn't score, and if the Bruins had lost, it wouldn't have been the end of the world.

But a win, and especially a win while seeing Seguin tickle the twine, can only be a positive, for a team that will be looking to replace the big-game offensive production in the playoffs that's lost in Horton and Ryder.

"It's nice obviously," said Seguin after Saturday's win. "It's better than not scoring. So, I guess I'll walk away today with a smile."

The entire Bruins team walked away from the regular season with a smile as well. Seguin's offense will be one of the biggest keys in maintaining that smile for weeks to come. And he'll do it alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

"Look at my lineys," said Seguin. "Theyre easy to play with, and I think if you look at my goals tonight, they set most of them up. I'm very fortunate to play with them and capitalize."

Bergeron assisted both of Seguin's goals on Saturday. The first coming on a perfect pass through the slot, only to find Seguin skating hard to the right post for the tap-in.

The second coming on a behind-the-back pass to the left circle, where Seguin blasted a one-timer upstairs while on the power play.

Seguin looked like a kid who played like the team's scoring leader in just his second year. And now, enters his second postseason as the Bruins' youngest scoring leader.

"Yeah, its pretty amazing," said Seguin. "Its definitely an honor. I did not know that. My linemates make the game a lot easier for me. Marshy and Bergy, with how much chemistry they had already from last year, going all the way with the same line to the Stanley Cup championship, they had a lot of chemistry. It was nice to step on that line, and hopefully were going to get better."

At the very least, they'll have to play like they did on Saturday. And Seguin will need to carry that offense into the playoffs.

Tuesday's Red Sox-Rockies lineups: Shaw sits out for first time all year

red-sox-travis-shaw-030716.jpg

Tuesday's Red Sox-Rockies lineups: Shaw sits out for first time all year

BOSTON -- For the first time since last season, Travis Shaw is not in the Red Sox' lineup.

Shaw, suffering from a minor left-hand injury, will sit out Tuesday night's game against Colorado, snapping a string of 76 consecutive starts. Josh Rutledge will play third base in his place.

The lineups:

ROCKIES:
Charlie Blackmon CF
Trevor Story SS
Nolan Arenado 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Carlos Gonzalez RF
Ryan Raburn DH
Gerardo Parra LF
Dustin Garneau C
DJ LeMahieu 2B
---
Jorge De La Rosa P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C
---
David Price P

Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

felger_miller0523161464117692429_3450k_1280x720_691977283816.jpg

Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

BOSTON -- The Bruins locked up a piece to a blue line that was godawful last season in announcing they’d signed Kevan Miller to a four-year, $10 million contract.

They also retained one of their own young restricted free agents, center Seth Griffith, by reaching agreement on a one-year, two-way deal with an NHL value of $625,000 per season.

Miller, 28, played in a career-high 71 games last season -- his third with the Bruins -- and established career highs in goals (5), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He also posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (plus-15) and generally seemed to be playing his best hockey down the stretch.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Miller was also forced into playing 19:04 of ice time per night while oftentimes serving as a top-pair D-man alongside Zdeno Chara. That resulted in a high number of mistakes and turnovers at critical times against the opposition’s best offensive players.

The rugged, hardnosed Miller obviously isn’t going to be judged solely by the numbers. He's also evaluated by the big hits, blocked shots and air of intimidation in the defensive zone. That said, a four-year contract is a bit of a head-scratcher, given that Miller wasn’t expected to command that kind of deal as an unrestricted free agent on the open market.

That four-year deal, which carries a yearly cap hit of $2.5 million, would also seem to hint at the impending exodus of Adam McQuaid or Dennis Seidenberg, or both, given the number of limited stay-at-home defensemen on the roster now making decent NHL money.  

The bottom line: Miller’s contract will be a good one if he can settle into a steady, top-four role. But it will be another overpay if he winds up being the bottom-pairing D-man many see him as at the NHL level.

Griffith had 24 goals and 53 assists for 77 points in 57 games for the Providence Bruins last season, and also had an assist in four games for Boston. He'll get another chance this year to compete for one of the winger jobs at the NHL level with plenty of competition.