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.

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden. 

Morrow has 'confident feeling' as he readies to jump into B's lineup

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Morrow has 'confident feeling' as he readies to jump into B's lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It’s been a long month of bag skates and lonely practices for Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow.

That’s about to change thanks to injuries to both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller, who are both not expected to be able to play against the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon at TD Garden. That means Morrow will be in the B’s lineup for the first time since a Dec. 12 win over the Montreal Canadiens, a span of 16 consecutive B’s games that the 24-year-old has been watching from the press box.

Morrow skated in a pairing with John-Michael Liles in Sunday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena prior to Monday’smatinee, and obviously he’s looking forward to getting back into games given this season’s sporadic practice schedule.

“[Playing well after sitting for long stretches] isn’t necessarily something you want to be good at, but if you are good at then it’s a good tool to have in your bag. It’s a confident feeling that I’ll be able to come in [and play well],” said Morrow, who has an assist and a minus-3 rating in 13 games for the Black and Gold this season. “I’ve stayed in good shape and worked hard in practice, and that’s all I can do up until this point.

“Put simply, [this year’s compacted schedule] is exhausting. Countless times I’ve skated by myself, and anybody would tell you there’s nothing harder than skating by yourself on a sheet of ice. Mentally and physically it’s just exhausting. There haven’t been many practices and there haven’t been many game-type situations in the practices we do have. Skating with the whole team is almost like a pregame skate scenario. But you’re still skating every day, so it’s putting it upon yourself to go out there and stay ready for things.”

The one issue for Morrow, a former first round pick, over the last couple of seasons has been maintaining a high level of play once he draws his way into the lineup. It feels like there’s a drop-off in his play once he’s played a few games in a row whether it’s physical mistakes or mental lapses in his play, and that’s something he wants to avoid when given an opportunity to suit up.

“I feel like when I have played this year that I’ve been quite consistent and that I’ve played well,” said Morrow, the last remaining part of the 2013 Tyler Seguin trade still in a Bruins uniform. “I’m just in a situation that the cards are playing out the way that they are, so it depends on how many games I get whether it’s one, two, 30 or however many games are left [in the season]. It’s realistically entirely up to me. If I can shake the rust out in the first couple of shifts and start from there, it’s going to be a big positive in my book. It’s the really the only option I have left now.”

Given that Colin Miller began skating on his own on Sunday morning, it might not be a very big window for Morrow to impress upon the coaches just how badly he wants to play. But one would expect he’s going to bring his best on Monday against the Isles with the hopes that it will be somebody else sitting up in the press box when it once again becomes a D-man numbers game for the 7-8 players for six lineup spots.