Seguin ready to earn respect and ice time

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Seguin ready to earn respect and ice time

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

Tyler Seguin holds a simple individual goal in mind heading into his second NHL season as a 19-year-old puck prodigy with a Stanley Cup already under his belt.

After spending the summer working out with the trainers at BioSteel Sports and raising his body weight all the way up to 196 pounds heading into training camp, Seguin has diligently worked on increasing his size and physical strength.

For a guy listed as 186 pounds during his rookie campaign -- that probably dropped to around 180 pounds during the postseason -- Seguin has done plenty of work in the weight room. That should help him win battles in the corner for pucks, and make Seguin a tougher customer on the puck when the Bs desperately need it.

Ive talked to him and seen him, and I think hes gotten taller actually, said general manager Peter Chiarelli. Ill be curious to see when hes measured on Friday. I know hes gotten bigger. He told me he was 196. Usually thats a high water mark and hell come down to 194 pounds or whatever, but he does look bigger.

I see a more mature kid. Its just maturation and growing up. Hes maturing, hes getting stronger and he knows what to expect. With all of that comes more confidence and I anticipate some improvement.

BioSteel Sports even had workout guruNHL legend Gary Roberts consult with Seguin and the rest of the players for several weeks over the summer. Roberts was the nutritionfitness expert credited with carving Steve Stamkos into such a physical specimen prior to his second NHL season.

Nobody is holding Seguin to that high Stamkos standard coming off an uneven rookie season with a veteran Bruins crew, but improvement over last years 11 goals and 22 points shouldnt be too difficult.

Seguin is returning to the same veteran Bs team that held few openings within the top six forwards for a skilled player like himself, but the Bruins coaching staff has always shown theyll make room for a youngster that pushes his way into the fold. That will be the challenge for No. 19 this season as a 19-year-old that seems to have it all at such a ridiculously young age.

So Seguin celebrated the Cup win for a couple of weeks after things were over in Vancouver, and has since worked feverishly in Toronto getting himself ready for a bigger and better sophomore effort.

I had probably the summer of my life starting off with winning and going back home to see family and friends, said Seguin. Bringing the Cup back to them is what its all about. Then I got back to work, put on a few pounds and got ready to get back for this year.

Im expecting a better season from myself this year. Its obviously nice to not go into the season blind. I know what to expect mentally and physically now, and I obviously want to earn more respect from the staff and players. Getting more ice time obviously goes right along with that, and that will help me with my production on the ice.

The most important goal for Seguin headed into this season is earning the respect of each member of the roster and staff, and by virtue earning a bigger slice of the ice time handed out by coach Claude Julien. Seguin managed only 12:13 of ice time per game in his 71 contests while bouncing between positions, lines and linemates, and thats not enough ice for a player looking to break games open with his explosive skills.

Both Julien and Chiarelli expected a more mature, experienced player ready to hit the ground running this time around. In the end it will be about producing more offense on a consistent basis and minimizing the cold streaks that were all too prevalent in Seguins first season. If that happens Seguin will get his ice time and should see the kind of year everyone unfairly envisioned for him as an 18-year-old babe in the NHL woods last year.

We need to see him be a better player. Hes got a year under his belt, so its consistency, said Julien. He showed flashes of what he can do. We just need to see on a more consistent level. Hes going to have more confidence and he has the experience, so thats going to come.

I think he understands that and he certainly seems to think that hes ready for it.

If Seguin can become the permanent winger alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand then all the better, but theyll take an uptick in offensive performance and some production on the power play either way. With a core of older, battle-hardened players on the Bs roster, it will be the energy and fresh body of a player like Seguin that could help push Boston as far as they go next spring.

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

Hayes knows he's a good player, wants to silence the critics

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Hayes knows he's a good player, wants to silence the critics

BOSTON, Mass. – There’s a long way to go toward a complete resurrection from last season’s misdeeds, but Jimmy Hayes made a nice little statement that he’s learned some lessons in Boston’s preseason debut. The Bruins lost the game, 3-2, in the shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but Hayes scored one of the two goals for the Black and Gold as one of the few veterans in a very youthful lineup for Boston.

The Hayes goal was a nice give-and-go with Jake DeBrusk at the end of a nice transition play in the second period, and was the highlight of a night playing on the right wing with DeBrusk and center Austin Czarnik. The score and a team-high four shots on net for Hayes represent a good start for what he hopes is a gigantic rebound season after last year’s disappointment.

Clearly Hayes heard some of the unflattering chatter about him on sports talk radio and otherwise last season, and may even understand how his difficult season in his home city of Boston -- whether he actively expressed it to him or not -- might have been a factor in his buddy Jimmy Vesey ultimately choosing New York over Boston.

It appears the former Boston College standout is looking to change the conversation in Boston. 

“Yeah, sure am. I’ve got a lot to come out here and…[there were] a lot of comments about myself, but I know I’m a good player. I got to this level for a reason,” said Hayes, who dropped from 19 goals and 35 points with the Panthers to 13 goals, 29 points and a career-worst minus-12 for the Bruins last season.

“To be able to play at the NHL level and continue to play at that level on a consistent basis is what I expect out of myself. I do it for myself and our teammates, and to help our team win. I’ll continue moving forward.

“It’s funny being the old guy on the line. It’s nice to see those young guys and see how excited they are, and how excited I am to get back out there. That’s what I said to the guys, they still have the jitters and they still have them for the first preseason game. It shows that these guys want it and it’s been a lot of fun skating with those guys. They’ve got a lot of speed and to keep pushing the pace. Trying to keep up with them has been a lot of fun.”

There is still a long way to go for the 26-year-old winger, and his willingness to stick around the danger areas on Monday night was a welcomed one for a Bruins team that needs his 6-foot-6 body in front of the net. Hayes paid the price with stitches and a fat lip after taking a Dalton Prout high-stick to the mouth in front of the Columbus net that went uncalled on a Bruins PP at the end of the second period.

That’s all part of the big man’s game on the ice, however. It’s also the kind of battle and determined fight that Hayes will need to show much more consistently in his second season with the hometown Bruins if he’s truly looking to bounce-back from last year’s mediocre performance. 

Carlo 'arguably the best' defenseman for Bruins in preseason opener

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Carlo 'arguably the best' defenseman for Bruins in preseason opener

BOSTON – On a night when many of Boston’s young players stepped up nicely, perhaps none did more so than 19-year-old defenseman Brandon Carlo. The youngster was in a top pair role with John-Michael Liles against a decent Columbus Blue Jackets lineup that included Sam Gagner, Alexander Wennberg, Seth Jones, Brandon Saad and Sonny Milano, and had almost no miscues in his 20:16 of ice time.

Better than that, Carlo notched an assist on the game-tying score in the third period when his right point shot made it through traffic for Danton Heinen to redirect it past Curtis McElhinney from the slot. That left Carlo with an assist, a plus-1 rating and three shots on net in 20:16 of ice time to go along with some heavy battling around the net whenever Blue Jackets players tried to get too close.

“Arguably our best D, if not our best D. [He showed] real good decision-making, and his gaps are good. I can really only think of one time in the third period he kind of threw a puck away in the middle of a change, and ended up on his wrong side,” said Bruins assistant coach Bruce Cassidy. “It wasn’t a bad turnover, but it was just one that he could have made a little bit of a better decision.

“He didn’t handle the puck much in the game, that’s pretty good. He jumped up the ice, got his shot through when it was there, matched up well with whoever he was put out there [against], pushed back in front of our net. [There were] a lot of good things.”

It’s a big training camp for Carlo, who is more than likely earmarked for Providence unless he can utilize a stellar training camp performance to push over one of the seven veteran Bruins D-men with NHL contracts. That means potentially displacing Joe Morrow as the seventh defensemen on the roster, or forcing the Bruins to possibly deal Adam McQuaid or Kevan Miller if the Bruins feel he is ready for the day-to-day NHL grind.

The preseason opener was a good start that the 2015 second round pick was excited about, but things will certainly get more challenging for Carlo as the Bruins get deeper into this training camp.

“I just want to keep the same mentality, same energy. Show a little bit more physicality. I felt like I did that, but definitely could close a little quicker in a few instances overall. I just want to keep building on every game,” said Carlo. “There are some very strong guys on the puck in this league and throughout this game they had those guys out there definitely. Overall, you just have to compete just as hard as them.

“You’re dealing with NHL guys out there. [The Blue Jackets] had some pretty good guys in their lineup tonight and everyone is competing for jobs on both sides…so the speed was phenomenal. I loved it.”

The Bruins loved what they saw of Carlo in a pretty big opportunity right out of the gate this preseason, and now the teenager has set the bar if he wants to keep pushing with a hockey club that needs to upgrade their defense with strong, young players.