Lindy Ruff: Tyler Seguin Has ‘Bigger Responsibility’ As A Center With Stars

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BOSTON — Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars are in Boston for their only game against the Bruins at TD Garden in the regular season.

Seguin is questionable for Tuesday night’s matchup because of the flu.

The Stars have struggled throughout the season and sit five points out of a wild card playoff spot in the Western Conference. One of the few bright spots for Dallas has been the play of Seguin, whose 59 points this season are tied for the NHL lead with Patrick Kane and Jakub Voracek.

One of the main differences between Seguin’s time in Boston and Dallas is the position he’s currently playing. He was drafted by the Bruins as a center from the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) in 2010, but with two of the best centers in the NHL — Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci — ahead of him on the depth chart, he played mostly wing with the B’s.

Dallas acquired Seguin to upgrade its depth and talent at center, both of which were poor when Jim Nill took over as Stars general manager after the 2012-13 season. The defensive responsibilities at center are greater compared to playing on the wing, and it’s forced Seguin to make some adjustments to his game.

“The role has changed, he’s a year and a half older, he’s playing in the middle which is a lot bigger responsibility,” Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff said.

“He’s had to make some adjustments, playing down low is a big difference. Here (in Boston) playing behind Bergeron, Krejci and even (Chris) Kelly, when you have three guys who I have a lot of respect for being top two-way centerman in the game, he was put in an opportunity with us to be counted on in at least a top offensive role. I don’t have him in a top defensive role a lot of times, but he’s been working his way into that picture.”

Seguin has formed a fantastic duo with Stars captain and first-line left winger Jamie Benn. They rank among the highest-scoring pairs of linemates in the league and should finish as Dallas’ top two scorers for the second straight season.

“I think he’s matured as a great young player in this league,” Benn said. “He’s really taken his game to another level. He really works hard on and off the ice, and you definitely see it and it’s paying off for him.”

Seguin, if he does play Tuesday, likely will be matched up against the Patrice Bergeron line, which has shut down several No. 1 centers this season. Boston had a plus-five shot attempt differential at even strength during Bergeron’s 4:03 of ice time against Seguin when these teams last played on Jan. 20.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

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