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Sometimes the best position is the one you are most comfortable in. Hopefully that will be the case for Bruins’ rookie Tyler Seguin. Since there has been so much uncertainty regarding Marc Savard, both in trade rumors and also because he is still experiencing concussion symptoms, Seguin is penciled in by some to fill in the void at center.
Now I’m sure people think that Savard will stay put in Boston and he might very well, but it’s unlikely that Seguin will replace Savard starting on the first line. As the depth chart stood before Savard’s condition, you could look at having Seguin on the fourth line at center alongside Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille. Another scenario would be to have him on the third line at the wing position next to Blake Wheeler and David Krejci.
Of course, now with Savard out indefinitely, Seguin has the opportunity to play center on either the second or fourth line with Patrice Bergeron most likely to start on the first line. Now, that all depends on how Savard is doing, but the most likely situation has Savard starting the season on the bench.
Coming after the Bruins’ Monday scrimmage against each other, it was said that Seguin played very well with Bergeron and Mark Recchi. He played so well with the two of them that Head Coach Claude Julien even made note of how they played while watching from atop the stands.
“It’s interesting,” Julien said. “As you know we were planning on getting Tyler going on the wing with a healthy Savard. But it’s something that’s good to know, and I can tell you I liked what I saw.”
So, since the Bruins have drafted Seguin earlier this year, people have placed him in the wing position, switched him to center, then back to the wing and now possibly back at center. Even though he is a young man (18 years old), he is mature enough to know that nothing is ever set in place in professional sports and that the best athletes have to adapt to wherever they are needed.
“I think it starts with adapting,” Seguin said Sunday.”You find your comfort zone. You’ve got to go into the NHL or any new league with confidence, know your game, and play it, and learn all the little things as you go.”
Those are the words of a wise-spoken rookie in my eyes (and ears). I think that Seguin may be more mature than most people think and all he wants to do is make an impact on an NHL team, and the Bruins are more than welcome to give him that chance. Even if that chance is at wing or center.
The ideal situation would be for Seguin to start off on the wing honestly. The center position has a lot of responsibility and needs to know how the NHL is run. Seguin lacks that knowledge right now and if he was to start on the wing at maybe a higher up line, then he would gain that experience real quick. Recchi has already praised the young man and I think that playing alongside the veteran wouldn’t be the worst thing for Seguin.
“He’s damn fast. I had to keep up with him so it’s good, it’s good for me,” Recchi said of Seguin. “He could be my son, so … it’s good; I have to keep up with him. He’s a good skater and it looks like he has great skills. I’m going to have some fun with him and work with him and it looks like he really wants to learn.”
Although playing center is more difficult for a rookie, coach Julien thinks that Seguin needs to work more on his defense rather than trying to score goals. Coming into the league, it is important to try and live up to expectations and for Seguin, they are high. The best way to live up to those expectations is by scoring goals because those are the numbers that most people look at and Seguin knows that. Julien notes that Seguin needs to take things slow and focus on the fundamentals and not rushing plays on the ice.
“As a centerman you’ve got to be a little bit more patient in your own end. When he played those (rookie) games he was really wanting to produce offensively, and sometimes he was a little quick leaving the zone,” Julien said. “It’s just explaining to him why. First of all, you become a better outlet. Second of all, when you come down low and you help out and you get the puck, you have time to lift your head up and see what’s in front of you. If you’re too far ahead, in this league here, by the time you get the puck you’re going to have somebody right in your face. So it’s maybe explaining a little bit the thinking behind and the understanding of it. Players like him catch on pretty quick.”
He really can catch on pretty quick as he had 39 more points last year (106) than in 2008-09 (67) while playing for the Plymouth Whalers. There’s no doubt that Seguin will play a role in this year’s Bruins team and honestly I don’t think it will matter if he starts at center or wing. He has said that he would play where he is needed and if Savard is out for an extended period, then center is where he is needed. Otherwise, he will probably start off by playing some wing as well as some center. Seguin is praised for his work ethic and by being a team player. He wants to play, learn and win and that’s something he is showing all the coaches, as well as players.
“He’s asking coaches questions, and that’s great. If there’s anything I see I’ll help,” Recchi said.