Seguin putting it all together in second year

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Seguin putting it all together in second year

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

MONTREAL The growth spurt for Tyler Seguin was expected to be expansive in Year No. 2 for the budding hockey prodigy.

Well, its been so far, so good in training camp for the Black and Golden Child and his Bruins.

Seguin followed up a multi-point performance and highlight-reel goal in Halifax by collecting a goal in his second straight game en route to snatching the games No. 1 star at the Bell Centre Monday night in a 2-1 victory. His teammates have certainly taken notice.

I knew he was going to come here and be excited to contribute this season, said Patrice Bergeron of Seguin. I remember my second year I felt that way. I knew I could play in the league and I learned a lot.

Hes a smart kid and he made sure he was going to be ready even though it was a short offseason. You could tell right away that his skating it was good before was even better and he has a bit more confidence to finish off some plays.

Hes done all this while bouncing between playing center for one set of teammates and right wing for David Krejci and Milan Lucic on the Bs No. 1 line Monday night and taking it all in stride.

Seguins only misstep during this entire camp was a subpar game in Ottawa when the entire squad seemed to suffer a bout of tired legs and camp fatigue simultaneously, but Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has token note of his bright prospects upward trend throughout camp. Seguin was sharp in drills among his veteran teammates in the opening few days

There were a couple of days where there might have been a little fatigue, but hes been very good throughout camp, said Chiarelli. Seguin has been one of our best players in camp this year.

Thats a long way from the raw young skater that made his debut in the very same Bell Centre last September as an unsure rookie going through everything for the first time. Seguin is a more confident, stronger version of himself going through the NHL dog and pony show for the second time, and the 19-year-old is the living, breathing, shooting and scoring embodiment of exactly how the Bruins can avoid a major Stanley Cup hangover this season.

I was going in blind last year, said Seguin. I looked at it as there would be things that I didnt know. It could get kind of annoying because you wanted to know everything, and you wanted to have results. But sometimes you have to go with it and keep learning and take a step back.

There were certain decisions made at first where I was like this sucks, but you learn, you adapt and you have to realize that youre not always going to jump into this league and be a top-line guy. Youve got to go slow, learn it and get some experience under your belt before you can do some things. But Im feeling a lot more comfortable and confident this season than last. It feels good when it finally pays off whether its on the score sheet or getting scoring chances.

The Bruins have been quick to point out that 17 members of last years Stanley Cup winning core are back this season for another crack, but the single biggest growth area on the team likely resides with Seguin.

If the teenager can develop into a 25-goal scorer with explosive skills and power play prowess this season, Seguin would take a great deal of pressure off the players that carried the heaviest playing load last year.

Hes looked like that more often than not, headed into training camp with an additional 10 pounds of muscle and a calmer approach to puck control, watching plays develop and distributing to others for offensive chances. Seguin set up Jordan Caron for multiple scoring chances in Halifax with cross-ice passes concocted with rare ice vision and a newfound sureness that his passes will hit their desired target rather than create a negative play.

The duo finally connected for a Caron score on a long stretch pass in the third period on Sunday night, and its unequivocally the kind of set up Seguin would have been hesitant about attempting as a rookie finding his way. It was a little risky and a little dangerous, but it was also more than a little effective at springing his line mate for a goal.

Horton was wheeling down the boards and had a couple of guys with him, and I kind of posted up just inside the blue line, said Seguin. I received the puck and I heard Caron yelling for it. I made kind of a dangerous pass where they -- if it didnt get through -- they could have gone. But lucky enough it got through and Caron took the one-timer without making a mistake.

Its that kind of unpredictable playmaking and willingness to execute offensive plays that will take Seguin to another level this season provided he gets the ice time and perhaps a few power play reps as well.

To those watching Seguin ascend in his second camp, its plainly and simply about believing in everything that hes doing out on the ice.

Tyler is playing with more confidence this year. He has a year under his belt and he knows what he has to do in this league, said Julien. Confidence and experience do a lot of things for players in this league, and you see it with Tyler.

He did that again tonight with precision dishes that gave Milan Lucic and Caron opportunities to rip shots at Carey Price, and a right place at the right time goal created by the rebound of a Matt Bartkowski shot from the outside of the right face-off circle.

So Seguin has scored two preseason goals in two days with one on a thrilling rush up the right wing while playing center, and a second on Monday night while scraping around the net and beating Habs defensemen to the free puck.

Seguin is by no means a finished product in his second NHL season before being legally able to drink alcohol or rent a car without hassles in the United States, but hes ready to be a difference-maker for a Bruins team fighting back a massive Cup hangover.

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

Sunday, July 24: Dominic Moore mulls NHL offers

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Sunday, July 24: Dominic Moore mulls NHL offers

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at how good the Justice League and Wonder Woman trailers were this weekend.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has veteran center Dominic Moore mulling a couple of offers as he looks for an NHL contract for next season.

*Jordan Eberle joined Canadian sports radio, and agreed that something needed to change with the Oilers after continually missing the playoffs.

*I will miss Jim Prior’s trademark “The Teams are ready, so let’s play hockey!” open to every game as a PA announcer, and I’ll miss his warm personality around the rink. It’s a sad day for the BU hockey program.

*The Arizona Coyotes continue to put together a very interesting D-men picture by signing Luke Schenn to a two-year contract. For my money, Schenn has long been one of the most overrated players in the NHL.

*The Hockey News’ Mike Brophy has some thoughts and observations about the NHL offseason as it continues to wind on.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dave Stubbs on Andrei Markov and his candid thoughts on everything from the Montreal traffic to the PK Subban/Shea Weber trade.

*Here’s a spot to track the travels and stories of the Pittsburgh Penguins amid their summer with the Stanley Cup.

*For something completely different: as mentioned above, here is the trailer for the Justice League that shows a much lighter, better touch with what should be a fun movie to watch. Hopefully this means it won’t be another pretty-looking, Zack Snyder funeral dirge.

 

Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

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Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

While much of the focus is going to be on the young D-men headed into Bruins training camp, it would be foolhardy to overlook a forward prospect Danton Heinen, who is in position for a real dark horse run at an NHL roster spot. 

The strong odds are that the former University of Denver star is going to be begin the season in the AHL for the Providence Bruins after putting up a couple of points in four games there at the end of last season.

Still, that certainly hasn’t stopped Heinen from setting his sights on an NHL spot out of this fall’s camp, most likely in a third- or fourth-line capacity to start things off, or perhaps at the top-six right wing spots that have given the Bruins some problems filling permanently over the past couple of seasons.

Either way, the 2014 fourth-round pick knows that his clock to fulfilling his dreams as an NHL player has started and that it’s up to him when he can start making that a reality.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to work toward my whole life, so I’m just going to try to keep getting better, have a good rest of the summer and then put my best foot forward to see what happens,” said Heinen, who had an assist and a sweet goal in the Friday scrimmage at development camp when he twisted D-man Cam Clarke around like a pretzel on a nifty rush to the net. “I just need to continue to get stronger this summer, and working on my skating to get a bit quicker.

“[The AHL] was a lot of fun to get in there and see what it was all about. It was a lot different than college hockey, and it was definitely good to get a taste of it. [Bruins officials] told me to have a really big summer getting faster and getting stronger, so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Heinen, 21, continued to show in development camp last week, however, that he has the playmaking skills and hockey IQ to flourish while surrounded by more accomplished players and in tighter situations. It’s exactly what he showed while posting 36 goals and 93 points in his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Pioneers and it was what he showed while finishing last week as one of the best forwards in camp.

“He’s looked really good at [development] camp. He’s a smart player, he’s committed and I think you’ll notice him in training camp. It will be up to him, but I think he’ll definitely be pushing some guys [for an NHL job],” said Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo, who was running the Bruins development camp. “He looked good [in Providence]. He fit in well. He’s the type of player that can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ, and he’s got really good skill.

“Anywhere you put him he’s smart enough to figure it out. You could tell in his first game there was a little bit of an adjustment for him, but the second time game it really looked like he’d been playing [at that level] for a long time. He’s a quick study, and he looked really good last year.”

The Black and Gold management hope he continues to look good at main NHL training camp in a couple of months, where he’ll undoubtedly be featured, and could be a lot closer than many people think as a polished skill forward coming out of a big-time college hockey program. 

Saturday, July 23: Hammer Time for VP pick Kaine with Caps

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Saturday, July 23: Hammer Time for VP pick Kaine with Caps

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while everybody is working for the weekend...or during the weekend.

*The vice-presidential candidate for Hillary Clinton, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, made quite an impression while hanging out a Capitals game with MC Hammer. They call this guy boring, but that doesn’t sound very boring to me.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bob Stauffer has the news that the Edmonton Oilers are parting ways with fancy stats lad Tyler Dellow. Boy, it seems like some teams are reversing course pretty quickly on some of these smarter-than-thou advanced statistics types, aren’t they? I certainly wish Dellow well and hope he finds another gig. But Instead of baselessly wondering whether the Oilers are going to continue down the fancy stats road (which they most certainly will), perhaps this is more a referendum on nonsensical stats-driven decisions like handing out that long term contract to a perpetually underachieving Benoit Pouliot.

*The New York Rangers have locked up Chris Kreider to a four-year contract at a reasonable number, and now he has the time with the Blueshirts to see how good he can be.

*Brian Leetch opens up to the Players Tribune about his NHL experiences playing with the New York Rangers, and all of his favorite experiences from a Hall of Fame career.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker says that Carey Price’s injury from last season is no longer a concern, according to Habs coach Michel Therrien.

*The Chicago Blackhawks will appear a whopping 21 times on national television across the NBC Networks next season.

*Incoming BU goaltender Jake Oettinger is among the names to look out for at the 2017 draft, according to the NHL Central Scouting bureau.

*Travis Yost says that the Carolina Hurricanes are on the rise thanks to winning the shot differential battle. I think it’s because they have an outstanding cast of young defensemen, who are helping them control the puck and win that shot differential battle. But they still need to score more if they’re going to really be a team on the rise, so we’ll see what happens there.

*For something completely different: for those that think I’m a Democrat because I am anti-Trump, here’s a story on the DNC machinery attempting to torpedo Bernie Sanders during the presidential campaigning over the last year.