Morning Skate 518: Look back at Seguin's night

Morning Skate 518: Look back at Seguin's night

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON A few thoughts and stats that didnt make the cut in the Tyler Seguin: A Star is Born piece I wrote at about 4 a.m. last night. Really impressive way the 19-year-old handled all of the media attention and hullabaloo after an epic game on Tuesday night, and thats a credit in many ways to the method that the Bruins used to handle him this season. There was a deliberate method to Boston's madness in never overloading Seguin on a team stocked with quality veteran players, and that means it's all coming together for No. 19 at the exact right time.
"We had talked about that before the season when we chose to keep him even though we could still see he had some things to learn. But we were willing to work with him and help him learn along the way. I guess people that had seen him play before thought he was that good, andthat he would probably benefit better with our team than going back to junior," said Julien. "But at the same time, he would have to take some bites here and there. To start the season, he had some ups and downs, but through all of that you could see him progressing."At the beginning of the playoffs he didnt get a chance to play. But theres no doubt sometimes you watch, and you see whats going on. When he was told he was going to be in the lineup, he was a really excited and determined individual. I thought he worked hard that week in practice. You could see he was really preparing himself for that, and the two games hes played, hes been nothing but a real good player for us."It was certainly frustrating for the player and unsatisfyingfor a team that could see the potential within Seguin once he got going, but everything came together at the exact right time for both team and player. "I just want to stay focused, stay composed, stay poised, stay confident and all those other big words, said Seguin. I want to try to carry it into tomorrow and play as consistent as I can.Seguin is the anti-Phil Kessel in so many ways and people will realize that as he grows and develops into a bigger and more prominent role with the Black and Gold.You could hear everybody get pretty excited in the building the first time they put him on the power play, said Mark Recchi. Its great to see. Hes worked hard and its been a real learning year for him. Hes learned how to compete and learned how to be a pro. Hes competing really hard right now.Hes coming along now and hes getting rewarded for being competitive out there and that is great to see.But one last salute of the stick: not only did Seguin put up a preposterous six points in his first two playoff games, but he also became the first teenager in NHL Stanley Cup history to ring up four points in one period of play. He was the first teen-ager to register a four point game since Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden did it way back in 1989.Thats some pretty heady stuff. Elliotte Friedman from CBC captures whats happening on the AtlantaWinnipeg roller coaster with some pretty good indications that the Thrashers will be no more. Some interesting thoughts from Nashville GM David Poile via Joshua Cooper about potentially shifting divisions and conferences to accommodate a relocation to Manitoba. My resource for all things NHL draft and draft prospects, Kirk Luedeke, about this years upcoming draft in Minnesota at the end of June. Bruce Arthur with a good look Tomas Kaberle struggling in Boston, though theres a caveat: it was written prior to a solid effort in Game 2. Yes, its true according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. The new team in Winnipeg would not be called the Jets. They would likely be the Manitoba Moose if and when they ditch the city of Atlanta. The Flyers sign a goalie from Finland, according to CSNPhilly.com. Theyve tried just about everything else, so they might as well give that a shot. A nice piece on Tim Thomas and the never say die attitude that permeates everything in his life, livelihood and love of hockey. Matt Lashoff joins Bronson Arroyo in the small, but hip obscure pro athletes that have taken recording cover songs to a new level as his first CD dropped earlier this week. Good thing he can play guitar because hes not much of a defenseman. Elliotte Friedman sees that Joe Thornton is finally growing his playoff fangs, and many other playoff thoughts -- 29 to be exact -- in the must read weekly blog entry. The Top 10 things said in Toronto on Wednesday in response to Tyler Seguins breakout performance against the Lightning in Game 2, per the View From My Seats.Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Zdeno Chara interested in summer contract extension: 'Of course I would be'

Zdeno Chara interested in summer contract extension: 'Of course I would be'

BRIGHTON, Mass – At 40 years old and entering the final year of his contract with the Bruins, one might expect that Zdeno Chara was hoping to finish things up strong next season and ride off into the Boston sunset as a future Hall of Fame shutdown defenseman. 

One would be totally wrong, however. 

Chara finished off a very strong season for the Bruins as their de facto No. 1 defenseman and averaged a whopping 28:46 of ice time during Boston’s six games of playoff hockey. It wasn’t by design, obviously, as Chara was pushed into some games where he went over 30 minutes of ice time due to the blue line injuries and overtimes, and it wasn’t always perfect as evidenced by Chara’s minus-3 rating in the series and his disastrous delay of game penalty at the end of a Game 2 loss in Ottawa. 

But by and large it was an excellent season for Chara as a shutdown D-man paired with Brandon Carlo where his leadership benefited the 20-year-old rookie, and Carlo’s mobility and puck-moving helped bring out the best in Chara’s game as well. The 10 goals and 29 points and plus-18 in 75 games while averaging 23:20 of ice time was a strong showing for the Bruins captain, and undoubtedly encouraged Chara that the end is not near for his career. 

With that in mind, Chara said during Tuesday’s breakup day that he welcomed a discussion about a contract extension with the Bruins following July 1 as he hopes to continue playing beyond next season. 

“Of course I would,” said Chara, when asked if he’d be interested in an extension this summer. “It’s something where I want to continue to play, and I take a lot of pride in my offseason training and being ready for every season. It’s probably something that management has to think about and make a decision about, but I’ve said many times that I would like to play beyond this contract. 

“I want to still be very effective and still get better and improving while maintaining my game, and adding to my game. It’s a game that’s going extremely fast as we go forward with a lot of skill assets. You have to be able to make those adjustments, and that’s a focus for me going into every season so I can be an effective player.”

Clearly it would need to be under optimal conditions for the Bruins to extend Chara at this point in his career, but a short term contract that pays the aging D-man something in the neighborhood of next season’s cap hit ($4 million) would be palatable for a player that’s easily still a top-4 defenseman in the twilight of his career. 

There just shouldn’t be any expectation he’s going to get additional term or be anywhere close to his salary total for this season that was in the $7 million range, and instead it will be a potential contract extension that reflects Chara’s value to the Bruins even if Mother Nature is starting to slow him down a little bit. 

Chara’s skating game certainly has slowed for a 6-foot-9 defenseman that never counted skating as a real strength, and you don’t ever see him wind up and blast away full strength with that 108-mph slap shot that was featured in so many All-Star Game Skills Competitions over the years. But he can also still be a shutdown guy, a dominant penalty killer and an intimidating presence in the defensive zone that causes every offensive player to take pause when he’s out there. 

Even if Chara eventually becomes a middle-pairing defenseman over the course of the next couple of seasons, the Bruins could still use his presence on and off-the-ice as a defensive stopper and a mentor to all the young D-men in the organization. So it may be that the Bruins are just as interested as their 40-year-old captain in extending things another year or two with so much roster turnover toward youth expected on the B’s back end over the next few seasons.  

Brandon Carlo 'frustrated' that concussion caused him to miss playoffs

Brandon Carlo 'frustrated' that concussion caused him to miss playoffs

BRIGHTON, Mass – It wasn’t Brandon Carlo’s first concussion that he suffered at the end of the regular season after getting clobbered on a hit from behind by Alex Ovechkin, but it was the worst one that the 20-year-old had ever experienced as a hockey player.

Carlo said he was getting closer to returning to the lineup when the Bruins dropped Game 6 to the Ottawa Senators in overtime last weekend, and that he was pretty much out of the woods with the symptoms. Instead, the 6-foot-5 rookie defenseman was relegated to missing the entire Stanley Cup playoff experience after playing in all 82 regular season games as a first year player, and will be asking “What If?” along with the rest of a Bruins roster that never got to compete in the postseason with their full complement of players.

“It was pretty frustrating. You go through all 82 games and you build toward the playoffs, and that was a big thing for us. There was a lot of attention around trying to get back into the playoffs, and I just wanted to be a part of it. Watching was a different perspective for me, and a little frustrating,” said Carlo. “But at the same time, you try to take something positive out of every situation, and seeing the guys come out for the first playoff game at home sent chills up and down my body. Those are the scenarios I hope to be in as a player, and hopefully going forward I can be in those positions.

“I think I would have been able to come back pretty soon [after Game 6] honestly. I was getting past all these symptoms, and once I would have gotten past some of the conditioning hopefully I would have been back in the lineup.”

Certainly the Bruins missed Carlo in the postseason after he finished with six goals and 16 points along with a plus-9 while averaging 20:49 of ice time per game. The absence of both Carlo and Adam McQuaid on the penalty kill turned Boston from the NHL’s No. 1 ranked PK unit to one that allowed six power play goals (five technically, but the Game 2 game-winner was mere seconds after a Sens PP had expired), and against Ottawa’s 1-3-1 trap they certainly could have used another player in Carlo that can fairly adeptly move the puck up the ice. 

Instead the 20-year-old will head back to Colorado for the summer to train and prepare for his second NHL season after a super-solid rookie campaign, and hope that he can remain healthy next time around in the postseason after going through the entire regular season without incident until getting clocked by Ovechkin in game No. 82.