After looking on, Seguin looks ready
With Bergeron out, rookie gets an opportunity
Tyler Seguin has been out of action long enough. Seguin has been a spectator since the end of the regular season, but will get his chance on the Bruins’ third line against the Lightning starting tonight.
“I haven’t played since April 10,’’ Seguin said Thursday. “I definitely had my break and I’m excited to get right in and I should have a ton of energy.’’
It has been considerably longer since Seguin’s last goal. In the Bruins’ 70th game of the season, a 4-3 loss at Nashville March 17, Seguin converted the 11th goal of his rookie season. The last time Seguin produced a goal at TD Garden was in a 6-3 win over Dallas Feb. 3.
Though Seguin’s performance tailed off toward the end of the regular season, he seems prepared to expend pent-up energy and demonstrate lessons learned.
“It’s nice to know you’re going to get in the lineup for sure,’’ Seguin said. “It’s hard not being in the lineup and watching from up top. I’m excited to get underway. I think everyone wants to get it started, everyone is excited and ready to go.’’
Seguin, at 19 the youngest player on the Bruins’ roster, has spent recent weeks soaking up advice from young (Brad Marchand) and old (Mark Recchi).
“From the start of the year until now, you can see he’s grown as a player drastically,’’ Marchand said. “He’s going to be a great player. I’ve told a lot of people that. I can’t wait to see him play next year. I’ve noticed such a change in my game. I only played 20 games last year. Now, there’s a difference in how comfortable you are out there. I’m very excited to see how [Seguin] is as a player next year.’’
Said Seguin, “The thing that’s great about this team, I can really go to anyone and everyone pretty much has some experience, especially when it comes to playoffs. I ask [Recchi] about little playoff stuff and he helps me all the time.’’
The best advice so far?
“Compete and have fun,’’ Seguin said. “I mean, that’s all you’ve got to do. I think a lot of guys, and upper management, want to see me compete and that’s what I’m going to do.
“And also have fun. This could be the only playoff experience of my life — you never know what could happen — but it’s nice to be here in my first year.’’
Seguin should be able to make a smooth transition, likely playing on a line with Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder.
“I feel like I’m not going in there blind with those two guys,’’ Seguin said. “I already know their style of game and they know mine and we’ve all played with each other. So, it should click in the game.
“I’ve been trying to keep as sharp as I can both on and off the ice, even though I’m not playing. But you have to work out pretty hard when you’re not in the lineup. We do a lot of hard skates and hard workouts, so I feel great.
“It’s been a huge learning curve. My defensive zone has gotten a lot better, I think, and I also believe my compete level and my skills have gotten better and I’m still improving.
“Obviously, I’ve been happy because we’re winning, but it’s tough not being in the lineup. It’s definitely good to know I’m going to get in.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at email@example.com.