Tyler Seguin

Julien: Seguin ‘seems a bit nervous’ playing in Toronto


Pointless through four games, Tyler Seguin isn’t having a very good postseason.

Claude Julien has a theory why.

The Bruins head coach suggested Seguin felt the pressure of playing in his hometown — Toronto — during Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

“This is [Tyler’s] hometown and he seems a bit nervous here,” Julien explained after Boston’s 4-3 OT win on Wednesday. “I thought he played really well the first two games.

“In Boston, he was a really good player and here not quite as good.”

Seguin was all over the place during the opening two games of the series. Despite failing to register a point, he recorded a combined 15 shots on goal, finished plus-1 and even got his physical game going, racking up four hits in Game 2.

In Toronto, though, it was a different story.

Seguin put just three shots on goal over two games at the ACC, and took a tripping penalty that led to Jake Gardiner’s power-play goal in Game 3.

The 21-year-old didn’t sound overly concerned about his lack of production, suggesting things would turn around.

“In the end it’s a fun sport,” he explained. “With playoffs and everything surrounding it, sometimes you almost do lose track of that.

“So the biggest message we had among ourselves as a line was to go out there, relax a little bit more, have more fun.”

And hey, if the Bruins can close out the series in Game 5, Seguin won’t have to worry about playing in Toronto again.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.