Should Tyler Seguin see more ice time in Game 2?

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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.

PHT’s second-round playoff predictions, featuring the red-hot Random Thing Picker

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It was a tough first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for many of the so-called experts of the world.

Upsets included the Predators over the Blackhawks and the Blues over the Wild. The Rangers over the Canadiens was a quasi-upset, too.

Here at PHT, it was a mixed bag. Mike Halford and Cam Tucker each went an impressive 6-2. And so too did the Random Thing Picker, which as its name suggests, picks random things. (And picks them rather well, apparently.)

Of note, the Random Thing Picker and James O’Brien were the only ones to pick the Preds over the ‘Hawks. So congratulations to both robotic lifeforms on that bit of soothsaying.

Rounding out the rest of the first-round results, Adam Gretz and Joey Alfieri went 4-4, while at 3-5, O’Brien and yours truly couldn’t even crack .500. (Stupid Jake Allen.)

On to the second round!

Washington versus Pittsburgh (Stream Capitals-Penguins)

Brough: Capitals in 7
Halford: Penguins in 6
O’Brien: Capitals in 7
Gretz: Capitals in 7
Tucker: Capitals in 6
Alfieri: Capitals in 7
Random Thing Picker: Capitals

New York versus Ottawa (Stream Rangers-Senators)

Brough: Senators in 6
Halford: Senators in 7
O’Brien: Rangers in 7
Gretz: Rangers in 6
Tucker: Rangers in 6
Alfieri: Senators in 6
Random Thing Picker: Senators

St. Louis versus Nashville (Stream Blues-Predators)

Brough: Predators in 6
Halford: Blues in 7
O’Brien: Predators in 6
Gretz: Predators in 6
Tucker: Predators in 7
Alfieri: Predators in 6
Random Thing Picker: Blues

Anaheim versus Edmonton (Stream Ducks-Oilers)

Brough: Ducks in 7
Halford: Ducks in 6
O’Brien: Ducks in 6
Gretz: Oilers in 7
Tucker: Oilers in 6
Alfieri: Ducks in 6
Random Thing Picker: Ducks

Feel free to add your picks below…

Auston Matthews to skip Worlds

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Auston Matthews is going to take some time off.

As such, the 19-year-old star forward won’t be heading overseas to represent the United States in the upcoming World Championship.

You can hardly blame him. Matthews just finished his rookie season in the NHL, playing all 82 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, plus six more in the playoffs.

Oh, and he also played in the World Cup for Team North America.

Matthews did participate in last year’s Worlds. He had six goals and three assists in 10 games on the way to a fourth-place finish.

Related: Gaudreau, Eichel commit to USA Worlds roster

Blackhawks fire their AHL head coach

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Yesterday, the Chicago Blackhawks fired longtime assistant coach Mike Kitchen.

Today, it was longtime AHL coach Ted Dent who got the ax.

Dent has been the head coach of the Rockford IceHogs the past six seasons, and he was an assistant coach for Chicago’s AHL affiliate the previous five seasons.

“The Chicago Blackhawks thank Ted for all of his contributions throughout his tenure with the organization,” GM Stan Bowman said. “He played a major role in helping a number of players reach the NHL level with the Chicago Blackhawks, many of whom became Stanley Cup champions. We wish Ted and his family the best.”

The IceHogs missed the playoffs this season, finishing last in the AHL’s Central Division with a record of 25-39-12.

Related: A furious Bowman addressed the Blackhawks’ postseason failure

Report: Canucks close to naming Travis Green head coach

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The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly set to announce Travis Green as their next head coach.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the announcement will be made in the next couple of days.

Green, who played over 1,000 games in the NHL including the playoffs, has been the head coach of the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica the past four seasons. Under his watch, the Comets have played mostly winning hockey in spite of some rather depleted lineups.

Ever since Willie Desjardins was fired at the end of the season, Green has been the leading candidate to take over in Vancouver. The only question, really, was whether he’d be a candidate for another NHL head-coaching vacancy, perhaps with the Florida Panthers.

Assuming no last-minute hiccups, Green will take over a transitioning Canucks team that has finished 28th and 29th overall in its last two seasons, respectively.

“We’re going to be young,” president of hockey ops Trevor Linden said. “Young players make mistakes. There’s going to be some growing pains. We need a coach that understands exactly where we are.”

Related: In farewell to Vancouver, Desjardins defends his approach to young players