UNIONDALE, N.Y. They certainly come from different puck backgrounds with totally different styles, but 22-year-old Brad Marchand and 19-year-old Tyler Seguin will both go into the Bruins record books together.
With Seguin notching his 10th goal and 10th assist in Bostons 6-3 victory over the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, the rookie duo became the first Bs first-year players to pot 10 or more goals in a season since three rookies did it for Boston during the 1992-93 NHL season.
That trio of rookies was the memorable Steve Heinze, Ted Donato and Joey Juneau during the golden era of the modern Bruins, and they also had 26-year-old Dmitri Kvartalnov potting 30 goals in his first season despite being too old to be considered a rookie.
While Marchand has been gaining notoriety for his strong play with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi over the last six weeks, its Seguin thats beginning to earn plaudits from Claude Julien after his recent stretch of games. It appears that Seguin finally gets it, and has ramped up his battling willingness and puck determination while getting involved in 1-on-1 skirmishes all over the ice.
To hear Julien tell it, its not about Seguin running over people or making a bit hit. Thats not it at all. Instead its about the skilled, intelligent young center simply getting in the way, playing aggressive and refusing to give away any puck battles in the priority areas all over the ice.
I thought he played well and skated well. I think hes really starting to get a chance to show us what that talent is all about. I think earlier things werent happening for him offensively for him, and thats what came most naturally to his game, said Julien. Ive said all along this is a young man thats pretty smart and he gets it.
Thats exactly what we talked to him about: take time to make plays and dont get rid of the puck so fast. The most important part of the game that he has is the skill level, and theres the compete level where he needs to go into the corners and come out of battles with the puck. Theres no need to run somebody into the boards because thats not his game. But hes a smart individual and hes figuring it out.
Julien liked what we saw offensively out of his Bruins team, but there were still some defensive miscues that the normally sound Bs dont even come close to making.
I thought we played well offensively, said Julien. Defensively we had some breakdowns. Its been better and the defense was better, but that doesnt get corrected overnight. Thats going to make some, but we just need to keep working on those little things.
The opportunities and the chances that were giving away defensively are things that weve got to correct. Those are the things that are going to help us win some hockey games at the end.
Mark Stuart was a healthy scratch for the Bs after playing well in his last handful of games, and was nowhere to be found in the Bruins locker room after the game was over a set of circumstances that did nothing to cut down speculation Stuart is on the verge of being traded to Chicago.
Its pretty clear the refs are watching the New York Islanders like hawks after the incident between the Isles and the Pens at Nassau Coliseum last week. Michael Haley was chasing Gregory Campbell all over the ice challenging him to a fight to no avail, and Haley ended up getting slapped with a 10-minute misconduct.
Likewise Zenon Konopka got into a first period scrap with Adam McQuaid, and seemed to catch McQuaid squarely in the eye that limited the big defensemans ice time to 38 seconds in the first period. The refs deemed that Konopkas fight was premeditated following Bostons first goal in a futile attempt to win back some momentum for New York.
While Tomas Kaberle isnt a member of the Bruins just yet, check out this list compiled by Elias Sports Bureau: the top power play assist men in the NHL over the last six seasons, and perhaps one or two of the names will surprise you. A hat tip for CSN Producer David Green for emailing this my way earlier this season.
176 Thornton, Joe
163 Crosby, Sidney
157 Kaberle, Tomas
152 Lidstrom, Nicklas
151 Gonchar, Sergei
150 Sedin, Henrik
138 Pronger, Chris
138 Richards, Brad
138 Savard, Marc
131 Datsyuk, Pavel
130 Ovechkin, Alex