Notes: Seguin, Hall still feeling growing pains


Notes: Seguin, Hall still feeling growing pains

By Joe Haggerty

EDMONTON For quite a while, there was a lot of hype surrounding Sunday, February 26 once Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin went 1-2 in the NHL draft.

The Boston Bruins would be traveling to Edmonton, and the thinking was that both players might be ready to put on a show by this point in their rookie years.

Well, as it often does, the hype didnt measure up in living color for either of the rookies.

Hall is having a solid first season, getting plenty of ice time with the downtrodden Oilers and receiving ample room to make first-year mistakes without any worry of consequences or potential benching.

Seguin, on the other hand, has been a part of a well-established veteran group making a push for the playoffs and his education has been slow and gradual, with advances and regressions mixed in with some explosion of talent.

Some are viewing Hall as more successful than Seguin based solely on the numbers, but thats foolhardy given the differences in their situations.

Hes been good, Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Seguin. I think those comparisons are just a lot of bull . . . I think if Tyler is here in Edmonton hed get as much as ice time as Taylor is now, and it would be different . . . .

Hall has also been in World Juniors and has been a part of a couple of Memorial Cups, and he has a bit more experience in that. I always like to give guys four or five years to really get their feet wet, and find out which way they go.

Sunday's game was an exercise in frustration for Hall, who was pounded by the rough Bruins defense and held without a shot in 19:52 of ice time while getting saddled with a minus-2 and a pair of giveaways with the puck.

At one point Hall got so flustered by the rough treatment that he tried to deck both Steve Kampfer and Dennis Seidenberg before getting called for an elbowing penalty.

They're big, they're fast and they work hard. More than anything, I think, it's their work ethic and their speed, said Hall. This whole year is about learning and there's a lot to learn about how to play against big, hardworking guys like that.

Seguin managed a pair of shots on net and a blocked shot that had him limping around the Bs dressing room after the game, and also finished with a minus-1 in 9:32 of action.

As has been the case on most nights this season, Seguins team came out on top while Halls team was left looking for a chance to redeem themselves the next time out.

I thought we were able to stay consistent through a full 60 minutes," Seguin said. "They stayed in there, they had their chances, but we were able to pull through.

Its a lot different now. Were NHL teams trying to win a game where last year we were with the Plymouth Whalers and Windsor Spitfires chasing each other for a Memorial Cup and a junior hockey scoring title.

Perhaps next season when the Oilers and Bruins meet up again, the hype and the reality of Hall and Seguin will make it much more appropriate one-on-one battle.

Both Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly notched their first points as members of the Bruins, with Peverley scoring a goal in front of the Edmonton net after receiving a deft pass from Michael Ryder in the slot area. Peverley said it was nice to get the first goal out of the way with the Bruins, and that chemistry is building with each game.

"Each game it just gets better offensively, said Peverley. We know where each of us is going to be on the ice and where to go. Hopefully it just gets better & better."

Andrew Ference was out with a lower body injury against the Oilers, but Julien indicated Ference wasnt likely to be sent home early during the road trip a sign that the injury isnt all that serious.

Both Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand dropped the gloves in the third period against Andrew Cogliano and Jim Vandermeer, respectively, and the LucicVandermeer bout was a memorable one with plenty of heavy punches thrown.

Lucic said the first few shots hit him in the helmet, but it didnt take long for the left winger to get invested and angry in the fight as he got stronger while the bout went along. The Bs leading goal-scorer has less than a handful of fights this season, so its pretty clear hes trying to get his punches in when he does decide to finally drop the gloves.

"I was just trying to hold my fists tight there and throw as hard as I could, said Lucic. It ended up being a good fight, there.

The fight for Marchand was his first career NHL fighting major.

The Bs have won nine straight against the Oilers, dating back to 2000.

The win over Edmonton was a big homecoming for Johnny Boychuk, who was playing his first career NHL game in Rexall Place after growing up just 10 minutes away. Boychuk has skated plenty of times at the Edmonton rink, but was excited playing in his hometown.

The Boychuk family, including his parents and siblings, traveled to watch the Bs defenseman play in both Calgary and Edmonton during the road trip through Alberta.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Cassidy: Bruins 'will be fine' if they simply take care of business

Cassidy: Bruins 'will be fine' if they simply take care of business

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins took Wednesday off and returned Thursday with assurances they weren’t thinking about history repeating itself for a third straight season. 

The easy parallels are there, of course. 

The Bruins lost 9 of their final 14 games and missed the playoffs by a point two years ago. Last season they went a pathetic 3-8-1 in the final 12 games and once again missed the postseason by a single point.

So their recent three-game losing streak has set off some warning bells and whistles, as has the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs have passed them and pushed the B’s into the second wild-card position. Boston holds a slim two-point lead over the New York Islanders for that final playoff position, and is facing huge games against the Tampa Bay Lightning (tonight) and the Isles (Saturday).

So with all that in mind, has interim coach Bruce Cassidy’s message changed at all to his players? 

“These are teams [close to the Bruins to the standings, so the games] get more magnified and rightfully so,” said Cassidy. “We accept that and we know what’s at stake. The last two didn’t go the way we wanted them to, but the things we do well, we need to keep doing well. We’ve created some looks at the net. We’re generating some offense. We need to finish a little better, and those pockets of the game that get away from us . . . we need to minimize those. We had a few too many of those [moments] against Ottawa. 

“We’re aware of it. We know who won and who lost last night. But we need to take care of our business. If we do, we’ll be fine. We really will. If we take of our business, it doesn’t matter what this team does or what that team does.

"That’s a fact. That’s the message. It’s quite simple. If we take care of business, we’ll be fine. If we don’t, then we’re hoping.”

Clearly taking care of their business includes dispatching both the Lightning and the Islanders. Hoping is what the Bruins ended up doing in each of the previous two seasons, and it left them fully out of luck once the music stopped.


Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while having never said “break a leg” for good luck to fellow Stoneham, Mass., native Nancy Kerrigan on social media, or otherwise.

 *A brief video history of Sidney Crosby spearing, or otherwise targeting, opponents in the crotches prepared with care and thought by the Puck Daddy himself, Greg Wyshynski.

*Elliotte Friedman has his 30 thoughts for the week and a few of them centered around new Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.

*Could the NBA’s star-resting phenomenon reach into the NHL when it comes to getting in-season time off for the superstars?

*Give the Leafs credit because they picked up coach Mike Babcock when he made a rare screw-up against the Blue Jackets.

*Check out the sick USA/Russia skating kicks on Alex Ovechkin, who had them custom made for a charity event.

*Speaking of Ovechkin, could T.J. Oshie and not Ovechkin actually lead the Capitals in scoring this season?

*For something completely different: Hide the women and children, the Scorpions and Megadeath are going on a North American tour together.