Seguin working towards shoot-first mentality

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Seguin working towards shoot-first mentality

BOSTON -- It will likely serve as a refresher course for Tyler Seguin when its looked back upon later in the season, and nothing more.

The 19-year-old was talking shots on net and staying aggressive after Wednesdays practice after only registering a pair of shots on net in Bostons 5-3 win over the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Seguin did notch an assist when he fed a trailing Patrice Bergeron for a snappy looking second-period goal that highlighted the youngsters superior vision on the ice, but he also turned down some good chances to pursue his own offense.

There wasnt a more clear example than the very same second period when Seguin had turned on the jets to split through two Senators defenders something hes done multiple times already through his young career and carved out an open pathway to the net where one hadnt existed just seconds prior by leaving Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson in his dust.

Instead of pressing the issue with a shot on Craig Anderson or drawing a penalty on one of the defenders now in chase mode, Seguin attempted to throw a drop-back pass to Brad Marchand trailing on the play. That pass which happened prior to Seguins sweet set up on Bergerons goal was deflected away from Marchand, and amounted to very little where it could have been a big play generated by Bostons best offensive playmakers at a time of need.

Seguin was aware that he needs to be a little more assertive with his own offense at times rather than caving into the centers first instinct to pass the puck.

I do think I need to shoot more," said Seguin. "I remember there was one play last night where I went down on the D and went one way and cut back the other way. I watched the replay and I almost had a clear breakaway but I decided to pass.

My instinct is always to look backdoor, but I've got to stop trying to be maybe too fancy and put pucks to the net. I know I've seen myself this year when I shoot more being rewarded, so I have to continue doing that and not give away good shots."

But on the other hand Seguin is second on the Bs with 36 shots in 11 games, and has done a good job of putting himself into scoring position as attested by his team-leading four goals a spot he shares with Milan Lucic on a team that hasnt really hit its goal-scoring stride quite yet. Bergeron actually leads the Bruins with 39 shots on net this season, and it makes sense to pair the teen-aged playmaker with a skilled two-way center like Bergeron that will be able to finish off some of the plays out on the ice.

Coach Claude Julien thinks his young point-scoring hotshot is going to get better at plays just like the one from Tuesday nights game, and it comes with experience, confidence and perhaps even a little toughness at times.

We reviewed the video, and personally you wish Seguin would have taken it to the net and maybe drawn a penalty there, said Julien. He had half a step, but there were also two players behind him that were kinda open. Guys like that are playmakers, and you dont want to be too hard on them when theyre making decisions like that.

You see the pass he made to Bergeron, so hes capable of making those plays. You dont want to take that away from him. Hes a guy that can take the puck to the net with his speed. There are times where hes capable of taking it to the net, and a young player builds confidence and gains confidence in taking it to the net. Theres always a chance youre going to get slashes or whacked on the ankles taking pucks to the net, and you have to be willing to do that.

Its a fine line with Seguin, of course. Hes already second on the team in shots and he has a wonderfully unselfish bent to his game where hes looking to set up his teammates for scoring chances on the ice. None of that needs to change if Seguin gets just a touch more assertive when the puck is on his stick with a chance to do some offensive damage.

Because more and more thats looking like Bostons best option to put a couple of goals up on the board.

Morning Skate: No surprise cheap-shot artists are running wild

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Morning Skate: No surprise cheap-shot artists are running wild

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while hoping everybody on this Memorial Day takes some time to appreciate all of those that made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. We should also take a moment to say thanks to people like the three heroes in Oregon that stood up to a hateful bigot earlier this week, and in doing so reaffirmed what the majority of people living in the US believe we are all about while trying to live up to that ideal every day.
 
-- A number of NHL legends are shaking their heads at the dirty play that we’re seeing in these playoffs, particularly those plays targeting the superstars that people pay big money to see in the postseason. Why should anybody be shocked by this? The rooting out of enforcers, and fighting, has taken accountability out of the game for the cheap-shot artists and dirty players, and leaves little real deterrant for players looking to take out opponents with dangerous plays. I wrote about this a couple of years ago when the NHL threw the book at Shawn Thornton for going after Brooks Orpik, and in doing so chose to protect somebody trying to hurt opponents (Orpik) and punish somebody trying to protect his teammates (Thornton). It was a sea change for the league, and something players didn’t forget as more and more enforcers were quickly weeded out of the NHL. This is what the rule-makers and legislators wanted, and now it’s what they’re getting just a couple of years later with dangerous stick-work, cheap shots and a general lack of respect for fellow players.
 
-- Here's why the Tampa Bay Lightning would consider trading a player like Jonathan Drouin, and the major impact that could have on the offseason trade market.
 
-- Down Goes Brown has a Stanley Cup Final rooting guide for the other 28 other fan bases now that Nashville and Pittsburgh are in the final series.

-- So which goaltender has the edge in the Stanley Cup Final: Nashville's Pekka Rinne, or Pittsburgh's two-headed monster of Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury?
 
-- Scotty Bowman says winning back-to-back Stanley Cup titles has become monumentally difficult since the advent of the salary cap.
 
-- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are pushing each other to be betters, and showing exactly how a team should be led by its superstars in the salary-cap era for the league.
 
-- For something completely different: We can confirm through this report that a lot of hot dogs are eaten in the summertime. So glad we have people to research these kinds of things.
 

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.