By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
Tyler Seguin led the Bruins in goal-scoring during the preseason and pried open plenty of doubting eyes along the way.
Its pretty clear the 19-year-old is going to get his chance to jump up and seize a much larger role with the Bruins in his second NHL season. That could be a very good thing for the Bruins as a more explosive Seguin goes a long way toward alleviating some of the Stanley Cup hangover discussion.
In fact Seguin might just be the greatest hangover cure since Gatorade and greasy food were entered into the equation.
It also appears that the journey toward NHL stardom for Seguin will start at the wing spot in his second season with the Bruins a fact that Claude Julien confirmed on Monday afternoon with the caveat that could evolve during the 82-game regular season.
Seguin will use his skating speed and searing shot to create scoring chances from all over the offensive end, and likely wont hit the middle unless injuries gnaw away at the center depth piled up with David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell and Chris Kelly manning the pivot. The teenager has said often that his approach doesnt change offensively whether hes playing center or wing, but it wont be surprising if Seguin shoots the puck just a little more as a winger than he might have manning the pivot.
Perhaps that could be the difference between 15 goals or 25 goals for Seguin if hes given the power play time and ice time hes made it a mission to earn this season.
Youre probably going to see a little bit of center and wing from him, said Julien when asked specifically about Seguins position. Youve got to look at what we have at center and where they are--when you have a David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly, hes such a good two-way center-man, and Gregory Campbell.
In Tylers case you dont want him playing center-man on the fourth line . . . its not the role thats suitable for him. But at the same time its also not easy for him to come in and take David Krejcis or Patrice Bergerons spot, so the chances of him playing center would be from injures along the way.
It appears Julien has also switched into regular season mode, however, as he took Seguins situation as a ripe opportunity to challenge his current group of centers should they grow lackadaisical during the season. Seguin gives the Bs coaching staff a player that could thrive as a top-six center in the NHL if circumstances were a little bit different for Boston, and that gives Julien an effective cudgel when it comes to things like effort and compete level.
The coaches switch lines along the way to get peoples attention at times (as well), said Julien. The one thing we know is that he can play both and well find him time at each spot depending on the flow of the chemistry of our team. We understand too that Seguin is a high quality player with a high level or skill. I think right now with the way hes conducted himself in training camp, hes given himself the opportunity to bring a lot more -- to play a bigger role this year. A lot of that is going to depend on Tyler and how much he wants it.
If training camp was any indication, the 19-year-old coming off a Stanley Cup-winning season wants it pretty badly.