March 19, 2011
Tyler Seguin: what if?
By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
It would be easy to come to the conclusion that Tyler Seguin’s numerous stints as a healthy scratch this season might be an indication that the Boston Bruins made a mistake by picking him No. 2 overall last summer.
It would also be wrong.
Such an assumption would be ludicrous this early in the kid’s career, even though he has 20 fewer points than the player picked ahead of him, Taylor Hall.
Maybe there are some long-suffering Maple Leafs fans out there who take pleasure, in a twisted way, at seeing the player the Boston Bruins took with the first-round pick acquired from Toronto in the Phil Kessel deal, struggle somewhat in his rookie year.
Not so fast.
The bottom line is this: Had Seguin been taken by a far less talented team such as the Edmonton Oilers, where Hall ended up, he would have received much more playing time, and in an offensive role. With the Bruins gunning for a Stanley Cup, however, he is taking a far smaller role, one that has seen him spend various stints in the press box.
“You can’t get down,” said Seguin, who entered the game against the Leafs on Saturday with 22 points. “When you get down, that’s when you know you are beaten and you are going to lose. I want to win. I’m around winners in this room and that’s what I’m focused on.
“(Sitting) is part of process. Obviously, if you were on a lower team in the standings you’d play more and be thrown into different sitations.
“Obviously those guys can make a couple of more mistakes. Me, if I make one mistake, I’m going to be up in the press box, so I kind of like that aspect of it. I think it is going to help me out in the end.
“I think whether it’s your first 20 games or first two years, you are going to take your lumps in this game. I’m happy to be on a contending team this year and years to follow.”
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli knows there have been growing pains, especially in Seguin’s defensive side of the game.
At the same time, he’s seen plenty of improvement.
“We recognize he’s going to make mistakes,” Chiarelli said.
“He’s had some trying time this year. But his curve right now is on an upward trend.
“Tyler has fantastic skill. I was at the Kitchener-Plymouth game the other night thinking: If Tyler was playing here, it would be ridiculous. Too good for that league (OHL), good enough for this league (NHL).
“I know he’s had a rough ride at times this year where he’s been frustrated. We’ve had a lot of talks with him.
“But you see his game changing. And you see a lot of things we wanted to see. So I’m happy with his game right now.”