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.