Haggerty: Seguin needs to absorb All-Star lessons

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Haggerty: Seguin needs to absorb All-Star lessons

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

RALEIGH, N.C. Tyler Seguin will be practicing with the rest of his Bruins teammates in Wilmington on Monday morning, and wont get the day off in Carolina that fellow All-Star participants Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara are enjoying.

He didnt play in the high-scoring All-Star Game on Sunday as Thomas and Chara did -- Seguin was part of the Saturday fesitivities -- so it was a no-brainer he'd be traveling back to Boston before the Bruins board a flight on Monday afternoon going down to Carolina.

It wont the first, or last, part of the 18-year-old's learning experience as he adjusts to life in the National Hockey League.

Getting named to the Rookie SuperSkills competition at NHL All-Star weekend was a big part of the maturation process. Now that Seguin has enjoyed a taste of how the other half lives, he needs to heed the lessons of what it takes to get -- and stay -- at that level.

It was a great experience. It was lot of fun. I met a lot of new guys from the other teams and made a few friends, so that was cool, said Seguin. Its not that easy at this kind of event to see the pregame routine from all of the guys, but its great sharing a locker room with guys like this.

Its just like having really good veterans on your team, so its just like Boston where I have plenty of guys that I can ask questions if I have them.

Seguin was treated like royalty during the Fan Fair and All-Star fantasy draft, and got a chance to hobnob with hockeys elite during the SuperSkills challenge.

There are some talented players and some supersuperstars playing here. It was cool to meet Alex Ovechkin and he wason my team for the skills challenge, said Seguin. Last year I wasntin the NHL. I was at home, but now I was able to meet all of the guysand become a part of it.

He got a long, clear view of the work ethic and talent embodied in each of the All-Stars. Being able to return to the event as a full-fledged All-Star himself should serve as the motivation over the last few months of the regular season, the playoffs, and then an important summer of conditioning work and gym dedication.

Now its back to reality when the Bruins take the ice against the Carolina Hurricanes at the very same RBC Center on Tuesday night. That means back on the learning curve for Seguin, who's had his ups and downs over the first 48 games of the season . . . and probably will have a few more during his first spin around the NHL.

Seguin has seven goals and nine assists in his 48 games played this season, and posted his second-best month of the season in January with two goals and three assists in 14 games along with an even plusminus. The numbers put Seguin on pace for 26 points this year, but it may be time for him to start stepping up his pace, waging more battles, and show a greater willingness to take chances offensively down the stretch.

With Marc Savard out of the lineup because of a moderate concussion, Seguin has been thrust into a bigger offensive role. Coach Claude Julien has spoken of patience when it comes to Seguins game and pride at the youngster learning the nuances of positioning and defensive play, but the rookie's 97.1 mph shot, silky hands and swift skating speed are too good to disappear as often as they do during the course of games.

Seguin watched All-Stars work hard and make plays over the weekend, and these are lessons he should take with him back to Boston.

The Bruins need more of the talented young player who notched multiple-point games twice in the beginning days of January, and appeared to be taking the bull by the horns as Stephen Stamkos a couple of years ago during the second half of his rookie season in Tampa Bay. They need less of the guy whi's gone seven games without cracking the score sheet headed into Carolina on Tuesday.

Its not too late for Seguin to weave together an impactful rookie season, but its got to start happening sooner and more consistently.

A little less kid and a lot more prodigy is exactly what the Bruins are looking for, and exactly what Seguin should provide after getting a glimpse at his own All-Star future.

His own future, that is, if he wants it badly enough.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now.