Ailing Peverley takes a seat
Last week, Rich Peverley was kept off the ice for two practices, given what coach Claude Julien termed maintenance days. On Sunday, Peverley missed his third straight practice for the same reason.
Last night, Peverley sat out his first game of the season because of an undisclosed injury. Julien classified the ailment as minor.
In 12 games, Peverley has three goals and four assists while averaging 17:14 of ice time, third-most among team forwards. Peverley skated only 12:02 in Saturday’s 7-0 win over Toronto, recording an assist. He did not appear to be skating with his usual pop.
Peverley has been a go-to player because of his versatility. He has played both center and wing. Since being acquired from Atlanta in February, Peverley has skated on all four lines and seen power-play and penalty-killing action.
Benoit Pouliot replaced Peverley as the third-line right wing. Pouliot sat out the two previous games (one because of illness). He scored the Bruins’ first goal last night, his first in nine games this season.
Jordan Caron assumed Peverley’s shifts on the penalty kill alongside Chris Kelly.
Seguin earns praise
Tyler Seguin, coming off his first career hat trick, hasn’t been a cherry-picking, offense-first sniper. That much was evident to his teammates and coaching staff prior to his second goal in Toronto.
Seguin, teaming with Patrice Bergeron, started the offensive rush with a strong play in the neutral zone. Seguin stood up Clarke MacArthur and stripped the puck from the Toronto forward. Instantly, Seguin went the other way with Bergeron at his flank.
Seguin completed the sequence by batting a mid-air puck into the net.
“We all know he’s great offensively,’’ Julien said. “But he wants to be more than that. He wants to make sure that in his own end, he’s solid. He takes pride in that. He wants to be part of the group. That’s why I say a lot of credit goes to him. Not everybody wants to do that. He does. Right now, his head is on right. He’s not bigger than the game. He’s understanding he still has a lot to learn and remains a very modest individual.’’
Seguin, who added his eighth goal of the season last night, will have to be mindful of his defensive game. Because of the chemistry he’s shown with Bergeron and Brad Marchand, opposing coaches will be quick to send out shutdown pairs. In turn, Julien often leans on Bergeron to serve as a matchup center against dangerous lines. In such situations, Seguin can’t be looking to cheat out of the defensive zone in search of scoring chances.
“I’m one of those coaches that like modest players that don’t get bigger than the game,’’ Julien said. “They want to be part of a team, not about me, myself, and I. He’s got that quality, and that’s important. That’s what makes championship teams - when everybody plays for everybody.’’
Milestone for Kelly
Last night marked Kelly’s 500th career game. All but 37 were in an Ottawa jersey. “He adapts as far as whether you want him to play a really solid defensive role, or you need him to give you a little more offense,’’ Julien said. “He’s wearing an ‘A’ because he’s a good leader and a very well-respected teammate.’’ . . . Bergeron had an assist to extend his point streak to seven games, with three goals and six assists. Seguin could be the most dynamic right wing Bergeron has played with during his career. “Throughout the years, he hasn’t always had that luxury,’’ Julien said of Bergeron. “He’s played with hard-working guys. At the end of the night, you saw all their work they did in the offensive zone, but they weren’t always rewarded. He’s got a good chance right now to have a player that’s going to help him in that area.’’ . . . With Peverley unavailable, Julien also considered David Krejci for shorthanded chores. Krejci was a regular penalty-killer until the Bruins traded Blake Wheeler last season. Wheeler was often paired with Krejci on the PK. Julien has often used Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton as his first even-strength threesome following successful kills . . . Tuukka Rask got his first win of the season with a 24-save performance. Rask entered with an 0-3-0 record, 2.71 goals-against average, and .906 save percentage. “It’s unfortunate his record doesn’t indicate the way we’ve played in front of him,’’ Julien said. “Everybody knows we haven’t given him much help, and we haven’t played well in front of him either.’’ In Rask’s first three starts, the Bruins scored four goals.