BOSTON (CBS) – I’ve said it many time this season, but finally, the coach of the Boston Bruins saw fit to “Let the kid go!”
Yes, I know Claude Julien likes his defensive scheme. He likes the Bruins to take care of their own end, not make defensive mistakes, and come back and help out. But sometimes you just can’t always have that in a player that is offensively talented as young Tyler Seguin is.
We don’t know what type of player he will be come as his NHL career progresses, but one thing we do know is that without him your Boston Bruins could’ve been in serious trouble. Down a game in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series and down a goal just 13 seconds into Game 2, the fans had to be thinking , “here we go again.”
And then it happened.
Julien knew, at least I think he knew, that something had to happen. He put the Kid out there and things began to happen. Less than a minute into the second period, trailing 2-1, Tyler Seguin and the Bruins struck goal on a sensational rush from center ice leaving the Tampa Bay defense at the blue line and 41-year old netminder Dwayne Roloson wondering “what the heck was that?” Tie game, and the beginning of a magical night for the rookie and his team.
Bruins Talk Tyler Seguin After Game 2
Seguin would score again in that second period with a lightning fast wrist shot from the slot that Roloson is still trying to find. He would draw an assist on Michael Ryder’s power play, YES, power play goal. With PA announcer Jim Martin’s announcement of the goal, Seguin would get a much louder cheer than the goal scorer.
Yes, the Kid put on a show of what he is capable of and can do when given the chance Tuesday night at the TD Garden.
Some say Julien and the Bruins handled Seguin the best way all year long. Others say, “what has he been waiting for?” Who really knows? Listening to “Old School” NHLer’s, coaches, and media alike, all seem to think that he was “handled” the right way. My thinking has been all along, you have to let him display that talent and take the rookie errors along for the ride. How far did you want him to go with four minutes of ice time per game? How long did you want him up in the Halo of North Station looking down and wondering when the hell is coach gonna give me a shot? How long is that fourth line gonna keep playing (a story for another blog) and the Kid with talent just rots upstairs as the team goes forward, or maybe not?
Seguin On Shawn Thornton, If He Belongs
These questions may not have been answered, yet, but what Tyler Seguin showed Tuesday night is that mistakes be damned, he can play this game with emotion, speed, accuracy and touch with the puck. Seguin was also on the ice when the clock hit zero, which means the coach had faith in him with a one goal lead and Tampa Bay looking to tie the game with the goalie pulled.
“He was extremely good tonight, no doubt about that,” Julien said. “One of our best players. He’s been waiting for his opportunity and he made the best of it.’’
Unfortunately that opportunity came with the loss of Patrice Bergeron, but it didn’t matter to the young rookie.
“Shawn Thornton came up to me and said, ‘If we’re going to the Cup, you’re going to get an opportunity,’” recalled Seguin. “It was tough watching, but now I have an opportunity and I have to seize it.’’
Seguin has seized it for now with three electric goals in two games and the 17,565 Bruin faithful chanting “Let’s Go, Seguin!”
I think there is no chance he will be watching from media row anytime soon.’
Ric Duarte has covered hockey and the Bruins for various media outlets since 1986. You can follow Ric at BruinsDieHard.com and at twitter @bruins_diehard.