Seguin takes a page out of Kane's book in shootout

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Seguin takes a page out of Kane's book in shootout

One underrated aspect to Tyler Seguins lockout time spent over in Switzerland was the opportunity it gave him time to compare shootout notes with dangerous Blackhawks sniper Pat Kane.

The two were teammates in Biel, and many wondered if the notorious Kane would be a negative off-ice influence on Seguin. But the 20-year-old unsheathed a nasty little Kane-ish glove-side sniper shot in the extra session on Monday afternoon that helped push the Bruins to a 2-1 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden.

So clearly the on-ice Kane influence was pretty good.

Patrice Bergerons shootout score was the ultimate deciding strike when he tucked a puck through Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec's five-hole, but it was Seguins nasty little scoring maneuver that set the tone.

Ive been doing it for a while, I just havent really done it in a game. Patrick Kane does it better than me for sure, it was pretty cool to watch him do it in Switzerland, said Seguin. I knew the whole way I wanted to go glove, I hadnt decided if I was going to go with speed or without speed until I really picked up the puck in the shootout. I just decided to slow it down and thats how it worked out.

Pavelec looked like a deer-in-headlights as Seguin slowed to a crawl on his shootout rush, and then flicked the biscuit inside the post to the glove-side with nary a reaction from the goaltender. It was a new strategy and a different tact from Seguin, who has already become an accomplished performer in the shootout over the last two seasons.

But rather than relying on speed and dazzling athleticism to overpower the goaltender as in the recent past, he slowed things down and owned the goalie's glove hand.

I just havent really had the guts to do it in an actual shootout. I think Ive done a lot of shootouts since Ive come here and most of them, I usually like to use my speed, said Seguin, who also assisted to Brad Marchand on Bostons only goal of the game in the first period when he picked off an errant clear attempt inside Winnipegs defensive zone. But youve got to mix it up, because theres video these days and people looking around. So Ive got a few more that Im willing to try.

Seguin led the Bruins with six shootout scores (6-for-12 good for 50 percent success rate) and four game-deciding shootout goals last season, and looks well on his way to doing that again this year. Overall the Bruins were 9-3 in shootouts last year in their first successful shootout season in recent history. That will be a big advantage for the Black and Gold again this year if they can uphold that trend in a shortened campaign where every point matters so significantly.

That is provided Seguin keeps digging into his bag of tricks and coming up with offensive moves that make other NHL goaltenders like just as hopelessly helpless as Pavelec did on Monday afternoon.

Morning Skate: Do Caps have mental block come playoff time?

Morning Skate: Do Caps have mental block come playoff time?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while thinking about and praying for the people of Manchester, England. It’s obviously an evil, cowardly act to bomb any public place, but to do it at a concert filled with women and children is the lowest of the low.

*The Capitals players are acknowledging that there’s some kind of mental block with the Stanley Cup playoffs. CSN Mid-Atlantic has all the details.

*It’s been a very odd postseason for the NHL where there are so many non-traditional teams still alive with the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Fina, and the Ottawa Senators fighting for their lives in the Eastern Conference Final. On that note, there is a ton of disappointment at the empty seats at the Canadian Tire Centre for Ottawa’s home games in the playoffs. It sounds like there are going to be empty seats tonight for a do-or-die Game 6 in Ottawa. That is an embarrassment for a Canadian city that’s supposed to pride itself on their love of hockey. Let’s hope the Senators fans have a last-minute surge to buy tickets and show some appreciation for a Senators team that’s given the Ottawa fans a totally unexpected ride through the postseason this spring. I mean, Erik Karlsson at the top of his game is worth the price of admission all by himself.  

*The Pittsburgh Penguins have the Senators on the ropes, and it’s been an impressive showing given that they’re doing it without Kris Letang.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the ownership for the St. Louis Blues giving their GM Doug Armstrong a vote of confidence.

*Another early exit from the playoffs is going to start making some players expendable on the New York Rangers roster.

*Here’s a good piece on how David Poile built the Nashville Predators, who have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time. Give credit where it’s due: He manned up and made a big move dealing away Shea Weber straight up for PK Subban. It’s really worked for Music City as they’ve stepped to the next level.

*Speaking of Nashville’s rise this spring in a wide open Western Conference, Pekka Rinne has silenced the critics he might have had by carrying his team to the Cup Final.

*For something completely different: Boston law enforcement is on high alert after the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in the UK.

 

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.