BOSTON (CBS) – With the Nathan Horton’s Game 2 status unknown, the Boston Bruins will need Tyler Seguin to step his game up in the Stanley Cup Final.
The third-year forward, who was bumped up to Boston’s first line after Horton left in overtime with an apparent shoulder injury, has just one goal and four assists in 17 playoff games this postseason.
TSN analyst and former Bruin Aaron Ward joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday morning, and said Seguin is just going through some growing pains at the moment.
“It’s a process. He’s still young and I think, over time, you find that development,” said Ward. “Like everything else, he’s still young and you can’t discount the fact that playing in the NHL is part of the maturing process. You get to understand the game itself and the players you are going against and, over time, you find your niche.”
“I don’t know if he found his niche yet, but I don’t think anyone doubts he’ll become a big-time player.”
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Seguin played over 29 minutes for Boston and had a team-high eight shots on goal. He looked more confident with the first line, but still wasn’t able to bury his chances.
“I think you saw last night when Horton went down that Seguin got bumped up to that line, the more opportunity — and the realization from his perspective that with the promotion comes more ice time and more chances to score — he gets better,” Ward said of Seguin. “He was up and down the ice flying, stick flailing and fore-checking and doing a great job. (We noted on TV) he’s stepping up his game, yes it was midway through and perhaps he has his legs because he hasn’t played as much, but when he started filling in for Horton it was noticeable he was feeling it.”
Rookie defenseman Torey Krug was another young player who had a rough night on Wednesday, with his second period turnover leading directly to the Blackhahwk’s second goal of the evening.
Could that turnover and other miscues in Krug’s game find him on the bench for Game 2 on Saturday night? Ward doesn’t think so.
“I think one giant turnover isn’t the demise of a player,” he said. “There are some other vet players that make mistakes. I think in the first OT he had three shifts, I think the second OT he was back out there a fair amount. There is a level of confidence in him.”
“You have to allow for the fact that he’s young, but he was still jumping up on the plays, making plays,” added Ward. “I don’t know if you sit a guy for one mishap because there were other mistakes. On the winning goal Seidenberg goes back to pick up his glove in the corner and that’s what allowed Shaw to go to the net.”
“I don’t think you ruin a kids contest by sitting him out,” he said.