BOSTON – You can tell he’s sick of the questions, those comparisons to Taylor Hall, Steven Stamkos and Joe Thornton and Phil Kessel.
All Tyler Seguin wants to do is play hockey.
“I came here with the expectation that I’d have an opportunity, just like any other guy, to make this team,” Seguin told Inside Hockey this morning. “You have to go out there, work hard, respect the coaches and earn your spot.”
He got the loudest ovation of any player from the crowd of 11,571 at TD Garden in a 5-2 ‘rookie’ win against the Islanders. No question, he was the reason why many of them showed up in the first place.
With 6:42 left in the first, Seguin nearly notched his point as Mikko Koskinen stopped his wrist shot and then got a hold of a Jamie Arniel’s rebound attempt. And with 4.4 seconds of the first period, he got carted off for interference, negating a Power Play.
Jordan Caron netted a goal in the four-on-four situation, the first of three on the night and Max Suave scored with 10:34 left in the second period to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Two ‘veteran’ rookies, if there were such a phrase, guys who have been much discussed in the Bruins inner circles, who would also love a crack at the big club.
“It’s nice to play a game with that type of intensity,” Caron said. “I’m sure it will prepare me for what’s to come later in preseason when the veterans arrive.”
Seguin notched two assists in his Boston debut, one helper to Lane MacDermid in the second, the other to Caron in the third, but he also was beaten off the faceoff to set up the Islanders first goal of the evening. He tried to draw Travis Hamonic into a fight midway through the game, knowing that in these ‘rookie’ games, a second fight for the Manitoba native would mean his ejection.
“I’m really looking for him to push for a job here in Boston, that’s for sure,” noted Bruins Head Coach Rob Murray, who led the way behind the bench as Claude Julien watched from Press Level. “I think he’s showing to me the ability. Time will tell. Once the big camp opens that’s probably there, you will see how and wheather he fits in.”
The experience on this night wasn’t about Seguin, who looked solid though certainly didn’t wow anyone, but about the punches. Two fights in the first five minutes of the second period and four scraps overall piled up the penalty minutes. Still, first game aside, Seguin was pleased to be amongst his professional peers for the first time.
“You know, it’s such a different environment,” Seguin said. “You are with professionals now, so you feel that buzz in the room and get excited about the experience itself.”