BOSTON — After Tyler Seguin scored a goal and an assist, and the Bruins’ power play remained pathetic with an 0-for-4 showing in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final last night, the “Seguinistas” were out in full force demanding the rookie be part of Boston’s man-advantage.
Frankly, the Bruins’ power play couldn’t be much worse than it’s been in these playoffs — now 2-for-41 — with Steven Tyler working the half wall, never mind Tyler Seguin. But Julien limited the speedster to just 11 shifts, all at even strength, for a total of 9:38 of ice time.
After the Bruins fell behind Tampa Bay one game to none with a 5-2 loss, Julien was in no mood to address the absence of Seguin from the power play. Considering Seguin was only part of the power play part-time all season, it wasn’t a surprise that he was left out of that role in his first NHL playoff game.
Nonetheless, Julien was asked again about Seguin and the power play, and provided a more-detailed answer at the TD Garden today.
“I think it’s a situation here where you’ve got to understand this is a 19-year-old that hasn’t played in 11 games. He comes back in and you want to give him some small chunks to bite on, and certainly work his way up,” said Julien. “But I think the other part is if our power play had not started picking it up, which I thought our first power play was really not a good one, our second one got a little better and then we got some shots starting to go through on the other one. Had it not, then we would have thrown him in there.
“But our power play’s been good the last couple of games, and just because you struggle on the first couple of ones, you explode it again and try something new. And I think had it not gone well, we would’ve, and he would’ve certainly been considered.”
After the Bruins’ loss, Seguin sounded like a teenager that knows he has to work for everything he’s going to get in terms of ice time.
“Well I definitely do [want to play on the power play], but I know what I got to do right now. I’ve got to contribute any way I can and if I get that opportunity I’m going to try to make the most of it,” he said. “And I know I’ve been sitting out all playoffs, so I understand why I’m not being thrown on the power play right away.
You can argue the merits of Boston’s “good” power-play opportunities against the Lightning and at the end of the Philadelphia second-round series. At this point, we have to expect that Julien’s expectations have been lowered. The power play is high-school-dropout kid that he’s proud of because he didn’t get arrested this week.
But now you have your clear-cut answer from the coach on Seguin’s absence. And you “Seguinistas” can hold out hope that if he stays in the lineup, Seguin will get his chance to revive the power play.