By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON In a move expected since the lines were formed at practice on Tuesday, Boston's 19-year-old rookie center, Tyler Seguin, will be a healthy scratch tonight vs. the Montreal Canadiens in a pivotal Northeast Division battle at TD Garden.The Habs have had the Bs number all year and left an indelible mark on the Bruins when they snatched an overtime victory away from Boston at the Bell Centre during a frenzied third-period comeback last month.With the gravity of the game in mind and an admission from coach Claude Julien that Seguin has lost a little bit of his edge, the Bs have decided to roll out a line of Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder centered by Zach Hamill, with the No. 2 overall pick in last summer's draftwatching from the ninth floor of TD Garden.Julien confirmed it after Wednesday's morning skate.Were giving Hamill a shot, but the competition is going to be on him when we have everybody back, said Julien, who didnt wait until tonight'swarmup to name his healthy scratch. We have to sit somebody out. I know who he is and I know where he was drafted and all that stuff. I think right now weve brought Jordan Caron up because hes a good fit on that fourth line and weve brought Hamill up to get a good look at himas a third year pro. Theres a lot on Seguins plate right now. I know hes lost a bit of his edge and there are times when hes lost the puck when he should be able to hold onto it. There are parts of his game that have slipped a little bit, but that doesnt change the outlook of what we think of him. I think its a phase that hes going through this year. It's never a bad thing to watch and never a bad thing to rest this time of the year.Peter Chiarelli told 98.5 The Sports Hubs Toucher and Rich on Wednesday morning that he would like to send Seguin to the Providence Bruins for a two-week conditioning stint at this point in the season but the Bs GM also admitted he didnt thinkthat was going to happen, given that the player andhis agentneed to sign off on such a move.What does Seguin think?Hes clearly aggravated that he wont be playing asanyhockey player worth their saltshould be but said he would use all of the conditioning stint talk and healthy scratches as motivation to play harder, regain that edge and continue fighting through a little bit of a rookie wall that's risen in the last 3-4 weeks.Seguins ice time has dropped under 10 minutes for each ofhis last four games, and its clear the Bruins are trying to create a competitive situation between Seguin and Hamill while stirring a little spark into Seguins game. The pressure levels and importance of games has elevated tremendouslysince the All-Star break, and it appears Seguin has hit a little bit ofarutwhile attempting to match the intensity.The conditioning part to the AHLisnt going to work out because of my age. Im just trying to focus on improving my game right now, said Seguin. Whether its sitting in the stands or whatever I have to do, Im going to do it.I had four shots and a goal against Dallas, but I definitely want to elevate my game. I think that I need to. Its all about consistency now heading toward the playoffs. I think I still have it in me and thats still the plan for me. Whether its five minutes or ten minutes a night I need to take advantage of it all. Even if Im sitting on the bench for a while I need to find a way to get my legs going, and thats just something Im not used to . . . but something Ive got to change. Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice for the Bruins and looks like hell be getting the start. Carey Price will be the starting goaltender for the Habs. Thomas leads the league in nearly every statistical goalie category while Price was also an All-Star while putting up a .922 save percentage and 2.32 goals against average this season. Thomas is 10-2-3 in his last 15 games while Price is coming off a 4-1 loss to the suddenly hot New Jersey Devils. Julien appeared to have his game face on Wednesday morning when he was asked about David Krejci and why the playmaking center has the ability to rise to the occasion in big moments."You should ask him that question," snapped Julien at CSN's Mike Giardi, who posed the question. "I wish he'd elevate his game like that all the time."