Notes: Seguin absorbs hit, plays well

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Notes: Seguin absorbs hit, plays well

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

NASHVILLE Tyler Seguin got his Welcome to the NHL blemish on Thursday when Patric Hornqvist went at the Bs center with a flying elbow.

The Predators winger nailed Seguin on the left side of his head with the elbow and ripped open Seguins left ear lobe an injury that took seven stitches to sew up and clearly registered as a significant NHL incident.

The Bruins trainers joked with Seguin that it looked like his ear lobe was about to fall off before it was sewn up.

I just saw him coming at me, I braced myself for the hit and then I felt it in my ear, said Seguin, who also added he wasnt feeling any headaches or other concussion symptoms. I came in the room and the trainer said, Nice ear lobe, it looks like its about to fall off. No headaches or anything like that. Im okay.

Hornqvist came in on Seguin as he unloaded the puck near the blueline, and threw an elbow right behind the 19-year-olds ear that is certain to get the leagues attention. Seguin was momentarily stunned after the hit, but remained in the game to log more than 12 minutes of ice time while also scoring a goal.

It was Seguins 11th goal of the season and snapped a seven-game point drought for the rookie.

The goal was a thing of beauty. Seguin and Rich Peverley combined for a speedy one-two punch on their forward line, and caused a Nashville neutral zone turnover that led to Bostons first goal.

Coach Claude Julien liked what he saw of Seguin's line, and underscored the importance of it playing extremely sound two-way hockey.

I thought he played well, skated and competed better, said Julien. We had a lot of guys competing well tonight and hopefully we can get more of that going forward.

Julien was so pleased with Seguin's play that the rookie got a helping of power play time to start the third period.

We wanted to push pucks up, especially the defensemen putting it up right away and the forwards being available, said Seguin. I felt very comfortable playing with Chris Kelly and Peverley. They help me out, theyre very fast and it makes it easy to play with them.

With Brad Marchand still out at least one game because of his suspension for the elbow he threw Tuesday night in Columbus, Seguin is enjoying the perfect time to audition for more playing time when Julien has a full compliment of players on his roster.

Andrew Ference didnt play on Thursday night, but indications are that the veteran defenseman will be ready to jump into the action soon. Ference celebrated his 32nd birthday in Nashville on Thursday.

Michael Ryder rebounded from a healthy scratch against the Columbus Blue Jackets to put a game-high seven shots on net for the Bruins in their overtime loss to the Nashville Predators. It was an up-and-down day for Ryder as he was also a minus-2, took a penalty and missed burying a chance at a short-handed breakaway but Ryder was also consistently threatening at the offensive end.

He played a lot harder tonight, said Julien. You saw him early in the game winning battles along the boards and in our own end . . . competing harder. Consequently he was a much better player for us tonight.

Patrice Bergeron scored his 22nd goal of the season, his first since a Feb. 26 win over the Vancouver Canucks -- a span of seven games in between goals for the B's hard-working two-waycenter.The Bruins have scrapped their normally-scheduled Friday practice in Toronto, and instead the B's coaching staff has opted to give his hockey club a day off prior to Saturday night's game against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.The decision on which goaltender to choose for each remaining game of the season is getting pretty challenging for Claude Julien and the rest of his staff. The B's opted for Tuukka Rask for the second straight night on Thursday against the Predators, and Rask was solid aside from a knuckling Colin Wilson shot that eluded him in the second period.But the constant battle at this point in the season between getting Rask hot and giving Tim Thomas the proper amount of rest prior to the playoffs is proving to be a quite delicate balance."It's the million dollar question, I guess," said Julien. "As a coach you weigh the pros and cons. We have a good goaltender who has been good for us all year, but has needed some rest. At the same time you don't want him to get rusty, but you balance things out. At the same time you have a guy that's playing better and better, and you want to keep him going."The one thing we've made sure is that everybody understands. We want to make sure we're on the same page. It's good to get input from the two goalies. That's how we've handled. The way I look at it as long as you have two good goaltenders, you really can't go wrong."

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

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. 

The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston. 

It’s been a challenging year for Spooner with pedestrian numbers of three goals and eight points in 24 games, but there are plenty of mitigating circumstances behind the slow start. Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.  

Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold. 

“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”

Trade talks have increased the past few weeks because A) the situation has worsened recently with Spooner’s prolonged stint as a miscast fourth line winger and B) the speedy, skilled forward will most likely be a man without a spot when 22-year-old left winger Frank Vatrano returns sometime around the mid-December range. 

According to one source, the Bruins are asking for a “top six forward” in exchange for a package including Spooner, and it’s a lead pipe certainty they’re looking for some goal-scoring given their 24th ranked offense this season. That represents a bit of an organizational sea change after the Bruins searched low and high for a top-4 defenseman in trade over the summer. The emergence of 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and the Boston defense’s performance across the board, has lowered the Black and Gold’s priority list need to trade for a D-man. 

The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in 18 of their 25 games this season and badly need somebody that can put the puck in the net from one of the wing positions. Unfortunately for the Bruins, there aren’t a lot of top-6 forwards readily available that could make an immediate impact. It’s highly doubtful any team is going to fork one over for an asset like Spooner that’s been downgraded due to the way he’s been utilized by the Bruins this season. He hasn't played with the same creativity or confidence this season after posting 13 goals and 49 points as their third line center last season. 

So it remains to be seen what the Bruins will get for Spooner after they offered him and a draft pick to Buffalo for rental forward Chris Stewart a couple of years ago. That was a deal Sabres GM Tim Murray turned down before trading Stewart for considerably less at the trade deadline.

The bottom line: the Bruins are working the phones discussing possible Spooner deals, and it feels like there is some motivation from B’s management to move a player that doesn’t seem like he'll ever be a proper fit in Julien’s system. 

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at the Bruins setting a franchise record this season for fewest practices in a regular season. Thanks compacted schedule due to the World Cup!

*Pavel Zacha is adjusting to life as a rookie in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, and things are getting better as they go along.

*Manitoba Moose players relive their favorite Star Wars moments prior to the team holding their Star Wars Night.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman sits down with new Florida Panthers head coach Tom Rowe to discuss the massive changes in that organization with the firing of Gerard Gallant.

*Good for Anders Nilson putting a rainbow decal on the back of his goalie to mask to support some gay friends that have faced public resistance in their lives.

*Bruce Garrioch has his weekly NHL notes with several players, including Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald, potentially on the trade block if anybody wants them.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffering a broken leg that will keep him out 6-8 weeks.

*There was no blood for the Vancouver Canucks fans, but there was still plenty of drama in a win over the Maple Leafs.

*For something completely different: The World Baseball Classic works for everybody except for Major League Baseball, and that would appear to be a problem.