WINNIPEG Given the way his puck luck has gone over the last few weeks, Tyler Seguinhad some negative thoughts when his second period tipped goal was under videoreview by the NHL. Did Seguinthink it was coming off the board? 100 percent, said a smiling Seguin. The only thing I was thinking on thebench is that its not going to count because of a high stick or something.When it happened I was battling with a guy and I put my stick out with my eyesshut, so I wasnt exactly sure what happened. But then I finally saw the replay and didnt think it was ahigh stick.So instead Seguins strikecounted as his third goal of the season and Bostons opening score in a 3-2 victory overthe Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre, and Claude Julien was giving the21-year-old credit for his best all-around game of the season after it was allover. The Bruins winger was solid in the defensive end and even broke up anodd-man rush in the first period on a hustling back-check when Zdeno Chara wasout of a play with a broken stick. It was great to see Seguinscore a goal, but more than that he just played a great overall game, saidpartner in crime Brad Marchand, who notched the game-winner in the thirdperiod. If you watched him tonight, he was everywhere. He back-checked veryhard, he was great in our end, he was shooting the puck and thats what youneed out of him. When he plays like that were a pretty tough team to beat.When things arent going the way you want sometimes you just need a goal likethat to get you going.That defense led to offense in the second period with theBruins down 1-0 after an Alex Burmistrov goal. Zdeno Chara lobbed a shot fromthe right point toward the net and both Seguinand Brad Marchand converged on the shot at the same time. It was Seguin moving toward the cage that got a raised stick onthe puck and tipped it past Winnipeggoalie Ondrej Pavelec. It was one of seven shots attempted by Seguin in victory, and a sign that the Bruinsforward has upped his grit game with a greasy goal that wont necessarily makeany highlight reels anytime soon. Even though its a tip thats not usually my game, Illtake it, said Seguin.Obviously when youre not scoring and producing the guys see that youregetting frustrated. The message I got over and over was to keep battling and tomaybe take my grit up another level and my compete level up. Thats what Itried to do tonight.Now its up to Seguinto keep things humming offensively after breaking through with a greasy one: hesgot two goals in his last six games after potting one empty netter in his firstnine games of the season. Things are set up for a productive rest of the road trip forSeguin if hecan keep the grit level at a respectable level until shots start falling forthe Bruins forward on a regular basis.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.
*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.
*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.
*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.
*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.
*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.
*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.
*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.
*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?
*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.