The Bruins were a complete mess offensively through two periods in Montreal on Wednesday night. Shorthanded and beaten up, the Bruins trailed 1-0 after two and gave no reason to believe they would leave Montreal with a goal, let alone two points.
Claude Julien changed up his lines, and it paid off in a big way. That’s thanks in large part to Tyler Seguin, who wasted no time getting acclimated to his new linemates David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
The B’s young forward scored 14 seconds into the third period, and then he assisted on a Krejci goal less than two minutes later to spark the Bruins in a 2- 1 win over the Habs.
Seguin showed no signs of being ready to break out on Wednesday. He didn’t even attempt a shot through the first two periods, and the only time his name was mentioned was when he was called for holding in the first period.
“I think the message was clear across the room that the first two periods we weren’t playing like it was a division first place game,” Seguin said after the game, according to the team’s website.
Hence, the shake-up. And if there was a message sent to Seguin with the line juggling, it was received loud and clear. The forward turned in one of his best periods of the season, and just as importantly, there were results to show for it.
You see it so often. That one goal is sometimes all it takes to jump-start a dynamic offensive player like Seguin. It’s also encouraging to see the the way Seguin was moving in the third period. The goal stemmed from hustle and determination. Seguin skated hard into the zone to help force the turnover, and then he never stopped skating while barreling toward the net.
There’s no denying the talent for Seguin. What the Bruins need him to do, however, is to put himself in situations where he’s able to best use that talent. Seguin played in Europe during the lockout, and he tore it up, registering 25-15-40 totals in just 24 games. But it goes without saying that the NHL game is much different. Players have to fight for every inch of ice that they get, which is a sharp contrast from the wide-open game in Europe. Skill alone, won’t provide scoring opportunities. Driving the net, forechecking and winning puck battles is what breeds scoring chances in the NHL.
Seguin has started to do those little things more often as of late, but he hasn’t had the results to show for it. After a couple of rough periods on Wednesday night, though, he put it all together. He worked hard, and that hard work was rewarded with a couple of points, both for himself and for the team.
“He hasn’t been that bad, he’s been playing much better lately,” Julien told reporters after Wednesday’s game. “Maybe not getting the results on the score sheet but from the first game to lately, he’s certainly been a lot more effective. Maybe that goal is gonna certainly help his confidence and give him a boost so he can continue to score some big goals for us.”
That’s the Tyler Seguin the Bruins need and are hoping to see moving forward.