It hasn’t been an easy postseason for Tyler Seguin. Despite registering a team-high 67 shots in 19 games, Boston’s 21-year-old forward only has one goal. That’s a shooting percentage of 1.5 percent, which would be frustrating for anyone, let alone a young player of which much is expected.
In the Stanley Cup Final, however, Seguin has made a major impact offensively, even if he hasn’t put any pucks in the net himself.
Most notably, there was the pass he gave linemate Dan Paille in Game 2 that led to the overtime winner.
Seguin also added an assist on Paille’s winning goal in Game 3.
All of which had Bruins head coach Claude Julien singing the youngster’s praises Wednesday prior to Game 4 at TD Garden.
“He’s played well,” said Julien. “Maybe he hasn’t got that goal or those goals, but he’s got some assists, made some great plays on other ones that they haven’t scored.
“He’s forechecked, done well in the battles as far as trying to come up with the puck, all the things we ask him to do.
“We’re not expecting him to be a real physical player because we don’t try to make a player what he’s not. But it’s about winning battles. Battles means coming out with the puck. Whichever way you have to do it, you go out and do it.”
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: