Following Up On Tyler SeguinShareThis
I think I have to go back and touch on yesterday’s column, don’t I? I mean, after last night’s debacle of Seguin awesomeness it feels sort of mandatory.
If you haven’t read it, basically the message was this: the Bruins should keep Tyler Seguin’s minutes down – he can become a great player, but he’s just not ready to take on a bigger role yet. It’s all about development at this point.
Then Seguin went out and set the world aflame using his stick as a blowtorch, scoring two goals and two assists in a single period, and suddenly finds himself the topic of every other article on the internet (according to my loose calculation) because of his big breakout moment.
Phew. Well don’t I look like a moron.
Now, in the wake of that chaos, I feel the need to do two things: first, I need to have a smile at the hilarious juxtaposition of my column and his game. I mean, I came off looking like a real tool there, folks, there’s no shaking that. I deserved the public shaming I endured on twitter, and it probably shouldn’t end for a few days (I also deserved the Puck Daddy comment section of the article, which had 10 comments before the game, and 55 more after it). /hindsight’d
But secondly, I’d like to attempt to defend myself, which I’ll do after a major qualifier, which please, I’d like you to listen to:
I saw something in Tyler Seguin’s game last night that I hadn’t seen before. I always thought he was going to be a good NHLer, but last night sold me that he’ll be great. On top of that, I find him charming in interviews, and I just generally like the kid, okay? I’m not trying to take anything away from him as a player or a person or from Boston. We heard that right? Bourne is pro-Seguin.
Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t carry on with number two, defending myself.
The second headline, as I mentioned above, I agree with. The first – with apologies to friend Joe Yerdon – is patently untrue.
The implication from not just Joe, but many, many Boston fans, is that by scoring these points in two games Seguin is proving he should’ve been in the lineup since the start of playoffs. Well, as the Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont pointed out, in the 23 games leading up to playoffs, Seguin tallied a statline of 1-0-1, as in, one single goal and no assists over 23 games, barely trailing the likes of offensive greats like George Parros, who doubled his point total. And that’s from a guy – Seguin, I mean – with a ¾ of a season under his belt whose role is strictly to produce offense.
What sane coach dresses that? He doesn’t have the other attributes at his age and size (he’ll fill out, but for now he still looks like the teenager that he is) to make up for not producing. He’s not gonna suddenly become a dump and chase guy; that’s the complete opposite of the direction the B’s want him to go.
Acknowledging the fact that he wasn’t contributing is just healthy coaching. And now that he’s in the lineup with fresh legs in round three, Boston fans should be thanking their coach for doing the right thing with the suddenly-much-hungrier Seguin.
My contention in my first article on him is that it’d be best for his development if his minutes are kept low, and he isn’t asked to take on any more than he can handle.
And, as it should be, last night he racked up a measly 13:55 – an improvement over his nearly-10 minutes in game one by a bit, but still, not by a ton.
When he was clearly seen to be on fire, Julien used him more. Outside of that burst, ice time was back to status quo, and that’s perfect. His coach is putting him in a position to succeed, and he’s answering the bell like only a great player can.
His second period was one of the single best periods of hockey I’ve ever seen a player play, and I mean that. He has that gear that others don’t. And while it’s awesome that he has that in him, it’s not always going to be like that. We were treated to something special last night.
I’ll backpedal a step here on my original sentiment, which he deserves, and say he definitely appears ready to handle more than I thought he could. That’s what players of his caliber do, I suppose – surprise, impress, exceed.
But I still contend that if the B’s hope to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup in June, they can’t be reliant on the young guy for consistent offense. For now they need to take what he can give – which may occasionally be what we just witnessed – and not much more. He’s on his opponents radar now, so the work is just getting started.
And just because his game was that awesome, that incredible….I give you his goals:
Craziest part of his two breakaway goals (including game one): he doesn’t really even fake a shot before going to his backhand. He’s just skating so damn fast he’s almost able to deke it around Roli before he can get deep enough in his net.
Craziest part of this goal is the raging confidence: he feels how things are going for him, and knows he’s doing something special. Even if that shot ends up being a save he gets credit for how incredible he’s playing, so he’s got nothing to lose. He doesn’t even look back at the pass option. As soon as he got it, he knew exactly what was happening next. Awesome.