|A Closer Look Into the Bruins First Month of the Season.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Posse!||Connelly’s Top Ten: Edelman Lays Eggs (so did the coordinators)||Connelly’s Top Ten – Thank You Veterans!|
In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, rookie forward Tyler Seguin proved to Bruins fans and more importantly the coaching staff that he belongs on the ice. Seguin exploded in the second period, igniting the Bruins to a 6-5 win, knotting up the series at one game a piece.
Down 2-1 to start the second period, the Bruins raised the curtain on the Tyler Seguin show. Just 48 seconds into the second period, Seguin weaved through two defenders and beat Dwayne Roloson one on one to even the score at two. About six minutes later, he netted his second goal of the game to give Boston a 4-2 advantage and he still wasn’t done. After one goal and one assist in Game 1, deuces were wild for Seguin in Game 2, because he had two assists to go along with his two goals.
The Lightning drew first blood when Vincent Lacavalier fired a shot wide that took a Tampa Bay bounce off the boards right to the stick of Adam Hall, who netted the backhander just 13 seconds into the game. The goal was the quickest in team playoff history. Entering the night, Tampa Bay was 8-0 in the playoffs when scoring first. That was about to change.
After the first 13 seconds, the B’s upped their game. They were the aggressors and put the pressure on Tampa Bay by spending plenty of time in the offensive zone. Their forecheck was more effective and helped them have an 18-11 shots advantage in the first period.
Roloson looked up to the task early, but the Bruins got on the board when Nathan Horton tipped in an ever elusive powerplay goal off a Dennis Sidenberg shot.
Boston controlled the first period with the exception of the first 15 seconds and the last 15 seconds. Martin St. Louis beat Tim Thomas with just over six seconds left off a ridiculous spinning shot from Steve Stamkos.
The Lightning had the advantage on the scoreboard coming out of the first intermission, and then Tyler Seguin happened.
Seguin showed Bruins fans what they were hoping to see all season from the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft. He found the back of the net on a goal reminiscent of his goal from Game 1 where he showed his speed and skill by dodging two Lightning players to get his shot off.
After Seguin evened things at two, David Krejci gave Boston a 3-2 lead on his sixth goal of the playoffs. The net just seemed to be getting bigger when Tyler Seguin netted his second goal of the game and third playoff goal of his career to give the Black and Gold a two goal lead.
Tampa Bay wasn’t going to go down without a fight though. Mark Recchi was called for a cross check at 7:29 and just 19 seconds later, Lacavalier slapped one past Thomas to cut the deficit to one.
That’s when Seguin reappeared to regain control of the second period. He assisted on two goals for Michael Ryder (one coming on the powerplay) and it was a 6-3 game entering the final period.
Roloson, who was beaten twice by a kid half his age, watched the third period from the bench and backup goaltender Mike Smith finished things out. Smith stopped all eight shots he faced in the period, but unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for Tim Thomas. He gave up two goals to let the Lightning get within one.
At 3:47, Steve Stamkos ripped off an absolute snipe and beat Thomas just over the right shoulder. Nearly 10 minutes later Dominic Moore scored a questionable goal after Thomas lost his mask and play wasn’t called dead.
Moore’s goal was Tampa’s last as Thomas battled to end out the period and the game. Tampa was setting up shop and getting good chances, but Thomas stood his ground to give Boston the win.
In his first two career playoff games, Seguin now has three goals and three assists in only 23:09 minutes on the ice. So now that Seguin has proven he has no business not being on the ice, what is Claude to do? Bergeron could be back as early as Game 3 and now sitting Seguin just isn’t an option.
Thornton or Paille are two potential players that could be sitting for Seguin, but the bigger question is how do the lines shake out then? You could drop Peverley down, because you’d be wasting Seguin’s speed and skill if you moved him down to the fourth line without any scorers out there with him. However Claude decides to play it will be interesting, but there’s one thing that has become very clear now. Tyler Seguin has arrived.
Follow Brian Moller on Twitter: @Brian_Moller