BOSTON — The wait to see Tyler Seguin in a Bruins uniform finally ends on Wednesday night, as the Bruins' star rookie makes his NHL debut in Boston's preseason opener in Montreal.
The venue couldn't be better for a youngster who has arrived with such fanfare, as Seguin will play his first game against the club's oldest rival in one of the league's signature buildings.
"It should be a heck of a game," said Seguin after Wednesday's practice at the Garden before the team departed for Montreal. "I hear about the atmosphere [in Montreal] all the time. I've visited Montreal. It's a great place, a great hockey market, so it should be a pretty exciting game."
While it was be a milestone game for Seguin, he's trying to treat it like just another night at the office.
"I'm going to have the same mentality," said Seguin. "I'm going to work my hardest and do whatever it takes to help out the team and hopefully get a win."
Seguin knows he will be the center of attention once again in this game, but he has become accustomed to that.
"It seems like every game I play is starting to be a debut of some sort," said Seguin. "But it should be a good game. I stay away from reading the papers or anything like that. I just focus on my game. I know what I've got to do and the only thing on my mind is trying to make this Bruins roster. That's what I've been striving for."
Seguin will begin that quest at his natural center position, playing on a line with veteran wingers Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler on Wednesday. He has split his time in camp between center and wing, and could see time on the wing in this game as well while playing on the power play alongside Patrice Bergeron.
"I think the hardest part is just remembering what [coach Claude Julien] said, what position you were playing before you are on a shift," said Seguin. "Other than that, it's something you adapt to and I think if you want to be in this league you have to be a diverse player."
Seguin is also adjusting to Julien's system, which is a little more intricate than what Seguin had been used to in juniors.
"It's only been four days," said Seguin. "I've taken everything he's said in and I'm trying to do his system the best that I can. It's not like minor hockey obviously, it's the next level, but I've seen stuff like this before so I'll take it all in and adapt to the situation."
The situation on Wednesday night will include a capacity crowd of over 21,000 screaming Habs fans at the Bell Centre, but a baptism by fire in such intimidating surroundings should be a good learning experience for Seguin and his fellow rookies.
"I think they've got a chance to play their first game in an environment that is a hostile environment for us," said Julien. "It's a real good place to learn how to play under pressure, so it's going to be a real good experience for those guys. They have to play their game. … You want to let them play and showcase what they do best and at the same time let them experience that feeling [of playing an NHL game]."
Even with all he's experienced so far in his young hockey life, this game is sure to be a memorable one for Seguin.
"I know it's a pretty big rivalry," said Seguin. "It should be a crazy game, even for a preseason game."
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