Morning Skate 518: Look back at Seguin's night

Morning Skate 518: Look back at Seguin's night

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON A few thoughts and stats that didnt make the cut in the Tyler Seguin: A Star is Born piece I wrote at about 4 a.m. last night. Really impressive way the 19-year-old handled all of the media attention and hullabaloo after an epic game on Tuesday night, and thats a credit in many ways to the method that the Bruins used to handle him this season. There was a deliberate method to Boston's madness in never overloading Seguin on a team stocked with quality veteran players, and that means it's all coming together for No. 19 at the exact right time.
"We had talked about that before the season when we chose to keep him even though we could still see he had some things to learn. But we were willing to work with him and help him learn along the way. I guess people that had seen him play before thought he was that good, andthat he would probably benefit better with our team than going back to junior," said Julien. "But at the same time, he would have to take some bites here and there. To start the season, he had some ups and downs, but through all of that you could see him progressing."At the beginning of the playoffs he didnt get a chance to play. But theres no doubt sometimes you watch, and you see whats going on. When he was told he was going to be in the lineup, he was a really excited and determined individual. I thought he worked hard that week in practice. You could see he was really preparing himself for that, and the two games hes played, hes been nothing but a real good player for us."It was certainly frustrating for the player and unsatisfyingfor a team that could see the potential within Seguin once he got going, but everything came together at the exact right time for both team and player. "I just want to stay focused, stay composed, stay poised, stay confident and all those other big words, said Seguin. I want to try to carry it into tomorrow and play as consistent as I can.Seguin is the anti-Phil Kessel in so many ways and people will realize that as he grows and develops into a bigger and more prominent role with the Black and Gold.You could hear everybody get pretty excited in the building the first time they put him on the power play, said Mark Recchi. Its great to see. Hes worked hard and its been a real learning year for him. Hes learned how to compete and learned how to be a pro. Hes competing really hard right now.Hes coming along now and hes getting rewarded for being competitive out there and that is great to see.But one last salute of the stick: not only did Seguin put up a preposterous six points in his first two playoff games, but he also became the first teenager in NHL Stanley Cup history to ring up four points in one period of play. He was the first teen-ager to register a four point game since Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden did it way back in 1989.Thats some pretty heady stuff. Elliotte Friedman from CBC captures whats happening on the AtlantaWinnipeg roller coaster with some pretty good indications that the Thrashers will be no more. Some interesting thoughts from Nashville GM David Poile via Joshua Cooper about potentially shifting divisions and conferences to accommodate a relocation to Manitoba. My resource for all things NHL draft and draft prospects, Kirk Luedeke, about this years upcoming draft in Minnesota at the end of June. Bruce Arthur with a good look Tomas Kaberle struggling in Boston, though theres a caveat: it was written prior to a solid effort in Game 2. Yes, its true according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. The new team in Winnipeg would not be called the Jets. They would likely be the Manitoba Moose if and when they ditch the city of Atlanta. The Flyers sign a goalie from Finland, according to CSNPhilly.com. Theyve tried just about everything else, so they might as well give that a shot. A nice piece on Tim Thomas and the never say die attitude that permeates everything in his life, livelihood and love of hockey. Matt Lashoff joins Bronson Arroyo in the small, but hip obscure pro athletes that have taken recording cover songs to a new level as his first CD dropped earlier this week. Good thing he can play guitar because hes not much of a defenseman. Elliotte Friedman sees that Joe Thornton is finally growing his playoff fangs, and many other playoff thoughts -- 29 to be exact -- in the must read weekly blog entry. The Top 10 things said in Toronto on Wednesday in response to Tyler Seguins breakout performance against the Lightning in Game 2, per the View From My Seats.Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Mueller aims to take advantage of opportunity in tonight's Bruins-Wings game

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Mueller aims to take advantage of opportunity in tonight's Bruins-Wings game

BRIGHTON -- Tonight’s Bruins-Red Wings game against the Red Wings should be a big chance for training-camp invite Peter Mueller as he readies to skate in a second straight exhibition game after a quiet night in the opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

The former 22-goal scorer with the Coyotes felt he was “solid” and “held his own” while not getting any shots on neta againsy Columbus. The veteran winger feels like he’s again starting to pick up the NHL pace after spending the last three years in Europe, and that’s mandatory to start making plays. 

“It was a good adjustment, but hopefully tonight I show a little more skill, a few more pucks to the net and create some more offense,” said Mueller. “I would rather play in most of the [exhibition] games, to be honest with you, and to get in-game-like scenarios and prepare yourself for each and every game. In my position I’m happy that I’m playing tonight and hopefully I can keep trying to impress the people [making decisions].”

The 26-year-old former first-round pick will be in a favorable spot, skating in a possible third-line, right-wing audition with Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey. He'll also serve as another established player in a more veteran-laden lineup Wednesday night vs. the Winged Wheels at TD Garden. With Frankie Vatrano out for the next three months, these are the kind of chances Mueller needs to knock out of the park if he wants to fend off younger competition for one of those B’s roster spots up front. 

“It definitely favors the type of game I want to play,” said Mueller, when asked about the chance to skate in a spot with Spooner and Beleskey that he would likely fill whre he to crack the NHL roster. “With two skill guys, hopefully we can create some chemistry and some offense early and obviously that helps with the flow of the game. Hopefully I can just showcase my skills and the work ethic that I’m trying to bring to the team. Overall, hopefully we have a good game tonight.”

Sean Kuraly is also playing in his second straight exhibition, and will move over to the left wing skating with Austin Czarnik and left wing Zachary Senyshyn in what amounts to a kid line for the Bruins. One would expect the same goaltending rotation in this game, with Malcolm Subban getting the first two periods and Daniel Vladar getting the game’s final 20 minutes. Here are the line combos and D-pairings according to the rushes during morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena:
 
Beleskey-Spooner-Mueller
Kuraly-Czarnik-Senyshyn
Gabrielle-Moore-Ferlin
Blidh-Acciari-Hickman
 
Grzelcyk-McQuaid
Lauzon-C. Miller
Arnesson-Casto
 
Subban
Vladar
 

Bruins' Zboril uses criticism and Twitter hate as motivation

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Bruins' Zboril uses criticism and Twitter hate as motivation

BRIGHTON -- It’s easy to see that Jakub Zboril , one of the Bruins' 2015 first-round pick, has come a long way in a year.

“I feel more comfortable,” said Zboril. “After last year, when all of the people saying something about what they didn’t like about me, it really pushed me forward. I told myself I wanted to be in better shape and so I worked really hard at it.”

The 19-year-old wasn’t in very good shape for last season's training camp after coming back from a knee injury, and that carried over into a junior season for the Saint John Sea Dogs (6 goals and 20 points in 50 games). That was a drop from his 13 goals and 33 points in 44 games prior to hearing his name called by the B’s on draft night.

Zboril was back at peak effectiveness in the playoffs for the Sea Dogs with a couple of goals and 10 points in 17 games, but the chain of events caused some to wonder if the Bruins had drafted something of a bust.

It seems ludicrous, considering Zboril is a 19-year-old talented enough to be selected 13th overall in the entire NHL draft, and even more so now that he’s showing much more in his second camp with Boston. It was some good and some bad for Zboril in his preseason debut against Columbus on Monday with a misplay leading to a goal against, but Zboril also kicked off the transition pass that helped the Bruins score their first goal of game.

“From last year I think he’s made big strides,” said assistant coach Jay Pandolfo. “He’s a young kid that’s only 19 years old, and he’s going to keep getting better. So that’s what you want. The structure in his game and the overall attitude [is better]. He was a little young last year. He’s in better shape. He’s done a lot of things that we got on him for last year, and he’s taken it and listened, he’s working hard. He’s done a good job.”

It’s a long shot for Zboril to crack the B’s roster this fall, so he’s likely headed back to Saint John for another junior hockey season after watching fellow prospect Thomas Chabot get a lot of the No. 1 D-man playing time last season. He quickly shot down any possibilities of playing in Europe rather than going back to the Quebec Major Junior League, and said there could still be plenty to learn in his final junior season.

“Right now where I am, I can just learn from myself and pushing myself,” said Zboril, of going back to junior. “What I can take from last year is that my role on the team changed, and I had to be more of a shutdown D. I had to show my defensive abilities, so I improved a lot from the year before. I think I can be more of a defensive defenseman too, so there’s that.”

Still, the so-so season last year had its impact in a positive fashion with Zboril really stepping up his game. But it’s also had its drawbacks as the Czech-born defenseman was forced to deactivate his Twitter account because of the harsh criticism and messages he was getting from hockey fans. Disappointingly, Zboril said most of it was coming from people in Boston that claim to be Bruins fans, and that it was like “people just spitting on you.”

“It was really pushing me down a lot,” said Zboril. “After some games when you know you weren’t playing really good, then you go on Twitter and you just see . . . people just spitting on you. So I had to delete it.”

Zboril said he’s much happier since getting off social media. But it’s a shame that a bright young prospect’s first impression of his future NHL city was the flaming dumpster of keyboard warriors that should forever be known as “Bruins Hockey Twitter.”