Last night’s Game 1 between Boston and Tampa Bay certainly wasn’t one to remember for the Bruins as they were dropped hard by the Lightning 5-2. While the highlights were few and far between for the Bruins in such a miserable game, there was one bright spot and it came from the kid who had yet to see the ice in the playoffs until last night.
Rookie Tyler Seguin scored his first career playoff goal late in the first period and also earned an assist on Johnny Boychuk’s goal late in the third during the Bruins loss. With two points he was the Bruins lone bright spot of offense. What’s crazy is that Seguin saw just 9:38 of ice time in the game While he was able to maximize his usefulness in such limited time (only Shawn Thornton and Dan Paille played less minutes) you have to wonder if the Bruins would’ve benefited more from having him see more ice time.
CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty has a thought or two about this from last night as well as what Seguin thought of his offensive spark.
“[The goal] was definitely a bit of a relief. I think coming in the first period, I was definitely very excited,” said Seguin. “I found myself running around just a little bit just because I had so much legs I guess. After I had that goal, it was a bit of a sigh of relief and I could be more poised out there.”
Amazingly enough the Bruins were down 3-1 for much of Game 1, but Seguin still managed only two shifts and 1:51 of ice time in the middle 20 minutes when Claude Julien and Co. decided that his offensive skill, speed and passable grit were not needed.
Seguin playing as little time as he did in the second period while the game was still reachable is disappointing. Haggerty does point out that Seguin did play nearly five minutes worth of time in the third period as he was playing on a line with Brad Marchand and Chris Kelly and that he asserted himself well.
Of course, seeing ice time when you’re down three or four goals is almost like waving the white flag considering that he was playing on what was essentially a reworked third line. That’s not the sort of role you’re looking for from a kid with offensive skill to burn. With Patrice Bergeron out of the lineup for an unknown amount of time with a concussion, Seguin is getting his opportunity to contribute.
It’s great for him that he’s doing as much as he is given the number of minutes and shifts he’s seeing, but if the Bruins want to get more out of the kid they’ll need to put him on the ice more. If that means giving him a shot on the team’s brutally bad power play, so be it. Either way, Seguin showed enough in his Game 1 effort to earn him more ice time – whether or not Claude Julien gives it to him remains to be seen on Tuesday night.
These are not the best of times for Florida.
Just weeks removed from the controversial firing of head coach Gerard Gallant — and having sputtered to a 1-1-2 record under new bench boss Tom Rowe — the Panthers got more bad news on Tuesday, as Rowe ruled out d-man Keith Yandle “for a while,” after Yandle suffered a lower-body injury in Boston on Monday night (per ESPN).
Yandle, the prized piece of an offseason blueline rebuild, has played a significant role for the Panthers this year.
He sits second on the team in ice time — trailing only Aaron Ekblad — and his offensive production has been vital. The 30-year-old sits second on the team in assists, with 11, and is the top point-getter among Florida’s defensemen.
By missing tonight’s game in Philly, Yandle also loses out on a personal milestone.
He had played the previous 577 games — the 10th-longest ironman streak in NHL history — and was within spitting distance of becoming one of just nine players to have appeared in 600 consecutive contests.
With Yandle out, Florida could bring Dylan McIlrath into the blueline mix. He’s only appeared in one game for the Panthers since being acquired from the Rangers — a 6-1 loss to Toronto back in mid-November.
And the Yandle injury isn’t the only one Florida’s currently dealing with. Jonathan Marchessault missed the B’s game with a lower-body ailment, and d-man Alex Petrovic is out after undergoing ankle surgery. The Panthers, of course, are also without star forward Jonathan Huberdeau, who hasn’t played at all this year due to a lacerated Achilles.
It hasn’t been the easiest year for Senators forward Curtis Lazar.
After sticking in the NHL for his first two pro seasons, Lazar began the 2016-17 campaign in the minors. That’s a pretty big step back for the former 17th overall pick in 2013.
The 21-year-old managed to earn a call up back in November, but there’s now some more adversity for him to face.
Lazar suffered a an upper-body injury in last night’s 8-5 loss to the Penguins and although we don’t know how long he’ll be out, we do know he’ll miss some time, as he’s out indefinitely.
He appeared to be injured after being on the receiving end of a hit by Pens defenseman Brian Dumoulin. It was a hit that Sens play-by-play announcer described as being “from behind”.
With Craig Anderson also leaving the team to head back to Ottawa, the Sens were forced to recall forward Phil Varone and goalie Andrew Hammond from the minors.
Ottawa has three games remaining on their four-game road trip. They’ll take on the Sharks on Wednesday, the Kings on Saturday and the Ducks on Sunday.
With Corey Crawford now on the shelf, the ‘Hawks will turn to Scott Darling as their starter. But new backup goalie Lars Johansson is a bit of an unknown. This is the 29-year-old’s first year in North America and he could get his first taste of NHL action. “If something were to happen (to Darling), absolutely I would be nervous, as excited for any new thing in my career,” Johansson said. (Chicago Tribune)
–Paul Maurice had some interesting comments about his former goalies Vesa Toskala and Andrew Raycroft. Maurice said that those goalies didn’t give him a very good shot to win in the shootout. (Sportsnet)
–How has the goalie position changed over the years? The Hockey News sat down with current and former NHL goalies, as well as some goalie coaches. “If I still played the way I did back in the day, I wouldn’t be in the NHL anymore. You have to evolve with the time and the position and the new techniques that come out every year,” said Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo. (The Hockey News)
–The New York Post looks back at former Rangers captain Vic Hadfield’s famous smile at the Spectrum in 1974. Hadfield explained that he wasn’t actually happy at the time because his team was on the verge of being eliminated by the Philadelphia Flyers. (NY Post)
–Tyler Murovich of the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL) was suspended 12 games for this reckless hit on Anthony Calabrese of the Norfolk Admirals. (Yahoo)
–This youth hockey player had an emotional celebration after he scored during the intermission of the Caps game on Monday:
The Boston Bruins are expected to be without forward Matt Beleskey for the next six weeks because of a right knee injury.
That update came from the Bruins on Monday. Boston was victorious over the Florida Panthers in overtime, but Beleskey wasn’t in the lineup.
The Bruins have now won three in a row and four of their last five games.
Beleskey suffered the injury in a collision in the neutral zone with Taylor Fedun during Saturday’s game. He left the game and didn’t return, after his knee drove into the hip of Fedun as the Sabres defenseman pivoted.
In 24 games with the Bruins this season, Beleskey has two goals and five points.