Notes: Seguin absorbs hit, plays well

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Notes: Seguin absorbs hit, plays well

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

NASHVILLE Tyler Seguin got his Welcome to the NHL blemish on Thursday when Patric Hornqvist went at the Bs center with a flying elbow.

The Predators winger nailed Seguin on the left side of his head with the elbow and ripped open Seguins left ear lobe an injury that took seven stitches to sew up and clearly registered as a significant NHL incident.

The Bruins trainers joked with Seguin that it looked like his ear lobe was about to fall off before it was sewn up.

I just saw him coming at me, I braced myself for the hit and then I felt it in my ear, said Seguin, who also added he wasnt feeling any headaches or other concussion symptoms. I came in the room and the trainer said, Nice ear lobe, it looks like its about to fall off. No headaches or anything like that. Im okay.

Hornqvist came in on Seguin as he unloaded the puck near the blueline, and threw an elbow right behind the 19-year-olds ear that is certain to get the leagues attention. Seguin was momentarily stunned after the hit, but remained in the game to log more than 12 minutes of ice time while also scoring a goal.

It was Seguins 11th goal of the season and snapped a seven-game point drought for the rookie.

The goal was a thing of beauty. Seguin and Rich Peverley combined for a speedy one-two punch on their forward line, and caused a Nashville neutral zone turnover that led to Bostons first goal.

Coach Claude Julien liked what he saw of Seguin's line, and underscored the importance of it playing extremely sound two-way hockey.

I thought he played well, skated and competed better, said Julien. We had a lot of guys competing well tonight and hopefully we can get more of that going forward.

Julien was so pleased with Seguin's play that the rookie got a helping of power play time to start the third period.

We wanted to push pucks up, especially the defensemen putting it up right away and the forwards being available, said Seguin. I felt very comfortable playing with Chris Kelly and Peverley. They help me out, theyre very fast and it makes it easy to play with them.

With Brad Marchand still out at least one game because of his suspension for the elbow he threw Tuesday night in Columbus, Seguin is enjoying the perfect time to audition for more playing time when Julien has a full compliment of players on his roster.

Andrew Ference didnt play on Thursday night, but indications are that the veteran defenseman will be ready to jump into the action soon. Ference celebrated his 32nd birthday in Nashville on Thursday.

Michael Ryder rebounded from a healthy scratch against the Columbus Blue Jackets to put a game-high seven shots on net for the Bruins in their overtime loss to the Nashville Predators. It was an up-and-down day for Ryder as he was also a minus-2, took a penalty and missed burying a chance at a short-handed breakaway but Ryder was also consistently threatening at the offensive end.

He played a lot harder tonight, said Julien. You saw him early in the game winning battles along the boards and in our own end . . . competing harder. Consequently he was a much better player for us tonight.

Patrice Bergeron scored his 22nd goal of the season, his first since a Feb. 26 win over the Vancouver Canucks -- a span of seven games in between goals for the B's hard-working two-waycenter.The Bruins have scrapped their normally-scheduled Friday practice in Toronto, and instead the B's coaching staff has opted to give his hockey club a day off prior to Saturday night's game against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.The decision on which goaltender to choose for each remaining game of the season is getting pretty challenging for Claude Julien and the rest of his staff. The B's opted for Tuukka Rask for the second straight night on Thursday against the Predators, and Rask was solid aside from a knuckling Colin Wilson shot that eluded him in the second period.But the constant battle at this point in the season between getting Rask hot and giving Tim Thomas the proper amount of rest prior to the playoffs is proving to be a quite delicate balance."It's the million dollar question, I guess," said Julien. "As a coach you weigh the pros and cons. We have a good goaltender who has been good for us all year, but has needed some rest. At the same time you don't want him to get rusty, but you balance things out. At the same time you have a guy that's playing better and better, and you want to keep him going."The one thing we've made sure is that everybody understands. We want to make sure we're on the same page. It's good to get input from the two goalies. That's how we've handled. The way I look at it as long as you have two good goaltenders, you really can't go wrong."

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.