Tyler Seguin gets his chance to play center while Marc Savard is out

tylerseguin3.jpgWith every bad turn, something good must come from it. In Boston, with Marc Savard sidelined dealing with post-concussion-like symptoms, this offers the opportunity for the team’s other talented centers to step up and prove their worth in camp. For 2010 first round pick Tyler Seguin, it offers him the chance to show the Bruins his worth as a center.

With the overabundance of talent up the middle for the Bruins, the plan with Seguin was to have him play the wing in camp and see if he could work his way into the lineup like that. Now, he’ll get a chance to play center in camp and show what he can do from his natural position, an opportunity he’s got to take advantage of.

The 18-year-old is expected to continue to play centre while Savard is out, which means more responsibility and an onus to take care of the defensive end without sacrificing too much on offence. Seguin scored 106 points last season with Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League.

“I think it starts with adapting,” Seguin said Sunday, after he skated for a second straight day on a line with veteran Mark Recchi and second-year pro Jeff LoVecchio.

“You find your comfort zone,” Seguin said. “You’ve got to go into the NHL or any new league with confidence, know your game, and play it, and learn all the little things as you go.”

While Seguin is not guaranteed to make the NHL team, it’s widely expected he will make the jump from the junior ranks. If he doesn’t make the Bruins’ roster, he has to return to Plymouth.

Ideally, drafting Seguin was seen as a luxury for the Bruins. After getting the second overall pick from the Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel trade, and the Bruins being a playoff team, they don’t necessarily have to bring him to the NHL right away. With the buzz building around Boston over Seguin and the rest of the team, the pressure is on to see Seguin perform similarly to recent top picks in the draft like Steven Stamkos and John Tavares.

While it’s possible that Seguin could go back to the OHL and play for Plymouth for one more season, it’s clear that the Bruins want to get the most out of Seguin right away. Whether or not head coach Claude Julien will have the patience to deal with an offensive-minded 18 year-old remains to be seen. With Marc Savard out for an undetermined amount of time, this is Seguin’s chance to really show Julien and the rest of Boston what he’s got.

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    Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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    Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

    They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

    Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

    Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

    You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

    Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

    Read about that blowout here.

    Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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    Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

    Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

    It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

    The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

    This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

    Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

    On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

    We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

    Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

    Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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    After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

    Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

    The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

    Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

    Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

    Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

    Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

    Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

    Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

    Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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    It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

    After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

    Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

    Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

    The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.