Seguin hoping for big performance on 21st birthday

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Seguin hoping for big performance on 21st birthday

BOSTON -- Tyler Seguin wanted the legions of Bruins fans to know hell be paying attention to all the birthday posters and well-wishers in the TD Garden stands after they were so prevalent last season.

When he turned 20 years old in a home game against the Ottawa Senators it was like one big birthday party with 18,000 of his closest friends.

Of course Seguin also finished scoreless with a minus-2 in that game, so hes hoping for a better performance as he readies for a possible Northeast Division alley fight with the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden for his 21st birthday.

Yes, that means Seguin is finally legally allowed to buy a case of Budweiser in Massachusetts if he so desires. He joked he might feel a giddy sense of freedom driving by a package store as so many young adults do when they final reach the legal drinking age in their 21st year.
One year closer to 30 I guess. I guess I need to find a girlfriend soon or something. I dont know, said Seguin with a wide smile. Nah . . . just kidding. Weve got a big game here to worry about. Thats important.

More importantly Seguin is also looking to get on track offensively after potting just one goal in his first six games. His head coach, Claude Julien, has admitted that the 21-year-old has looked out of sync with his game.

Seguin tallied that lone goal this season on Monday night during an empty net situation against the Carolina Hurricanes, and the hope is that will start him on the offensive rampage many predicted to start the year after dominating Europe.

In truth, Seguin only had one goal through his first six games last season, though he did have a couple more assists. So he hasnt been terribly off his normal numbers and hes had a few scoring chances that havent dropped for him. Hes also helped the Bruins score two extra points with successful shootout strikes against Winnipeg and New Jersey despite TD Garden sausages flying by him as he executed his offensive moves.

Im hoping for more hot dogs or bananas or whatever gets thrown out there tonight, said a laughing Seguin. Obviously its tough not getting too many goals, but in the end you have to be a confident person no matter what is happening. You just stay focused and stay with it, and theyll come eventually.

The Bruins organization has felt that Seguin is slowly adjusting back to the smaller NHL rinks after his time in Europe, and the major decrease in time and space with the puck that goes along with less ice surface to work with. The Bs forward didnt disagree with that, but also felt like its time to get things moving at the end of the second week of regular season games.

Were getting wins and thats really all that matters right now. Ive always said it takes five games to adjust back to North AmericanNHL rinks and were at game seven now, said Seguin. My first few shifts in Switzerland I didnt even touch the puck, so theres an adjustment both ways. Its going to come.

It sounds like the best 21st birthday present Seguin could possibly hope for would be the offensive breakout game hes been waiting for this season.

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.