CHICAGO - The details were cloudy for Tyler Seguin, the kid under so much scrutiny.
He knew what had happened. He just didn’t see it. Couldn’t recall the details of how it occurred.
It was fresh yet foreign. Exciting yet he was trying to calm himself down on the night of his biggest offensive surge as a Stanley Cup player.
Seguin was standing in the Boston Bruins dressing room, surrounded by cameras and microphones, with lights bright in his eyes, minutes after the overtime victory, trying to explain how it was the Bruins came back from the near slaughter of the first period to win Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, tie the series at one game each, and how significant a role he played in the end result.
“Honestly, I don’t really remember (what happened),” said Seguin, who loves to say he’s still learning, loves to point out he’s just 21. “I got the puck wide. Saw the weak side high. I saw him and I went to the net.”
It was off Seguin’s pass that Daniel Paille scored the game-winning overtime goal that tied the Stanley Cup series between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. And it was off good work by Seguin in the second period that Boston overcame the early Chicago onslaught and tied the game on Chris Kelly’s first goal of the playoffs.
And so the night went for Seguin and the Bruins. An unlikely player, an unlikely win after the way it began – Boston can thank goalie Tuukka Rask for that – and an unlikely line coming through for the Bruins at a time when they needed it most.
Boston had been a four-line hockey team all through the playoffs until Gregory Campbell was injured in the last round. This has forced coach Claude Julien to alter his lineup. And so he took Seguin, who began the playoffs on the Patrice Bergeron line, and put him with the third-line centre, Kelly, who had basically been offensively impotent in the post-season and teammed them with speedy fourth-liner Daniel Paille for much of Game 2.
Mixing and matching is the last thing Julien likes to do, but his hand has been forced by the loss of Campbell. And this group of three, not together before, suddenly found its way when it mattered most in Game 2.
For the Bruins, the victory was similar to the way the night went for Seguin. It was a reason to exhale. It was a reason to feel good on a night that began as terribly as it could.
Seguin had three assists in his first 17 games of the playoffs. He had two Saturday night. “What you do at this time, that’s what matters,” said Seguin.
Up until now he had done so little. “You see he has confidence,” said Jaromir Jagr, who understands what it is be a young man of such high expectations. He was that young man once.
“This was big for him,” said Jagr. “It’s so hard to score at this time of year. You have to work so hard to get anything.”
The question for Seguin came again in the dressing room: “Can you take us through the overtime goal?”
“I don’t really remember anything,” he said again. “I saw an open man. I haven’t seen the play. I don’t know. We’ll take the win.
“Personally, yeah (this is big),” he said, not finishing his answer. “Any time you’re contributing with results it’s going to boost your confidence. In the end, this is the Stanley Cup final and results are all that matters.
There haven’t been many nights in the playoffs for him to tell his story, having to recall how he set up the tying goal and the overtime game-winner and how his physical play – the play he has centred out for not participating in – made a difference in changing the game Saturday night and changing the series in turn.
It was a great night for the young man from Brampton, Ont., even if he was overwhelmed by it all. The Bruins, out of gas, out of legs and looking lost in the first period, came back in Game 2 because Rask, drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs, gave them that opportunity with spectacular goaltending. Seguin, who was drafted with a Maple Leafs pick, needed four rounds and three periods last night to find an edge to his game so as to make some kind of difference in the playoffs.
This could be the beginning of something big for Seguin. Out of wind and seemingly out of gas Saturday night, Boston needed an injection of youth and it saved them from going home down two games.