It took just a couple shifts Saturday night in Montreal for Bruins coach Claude Julien to move Tyler Seguin from center back to wing.
Seguin says he wasn’t surprised the switch was made.
“Well, it wasn’t working,” said Seguin, who might skate on Chris Kelly’s right wing Monday night at TD Garden against Carolina. “We were out there for the first goal there [Saturday]. It just wasn’t working in our own zone; we were kind of running around a bit. I can’t say I was shocked that it changed.”
Julien had mentioned there were some mistakes Seguin made while playing center between Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr in a 1-0 win Thursday against New Jersey. Once it was evident the Canadiens were going to be able to take advantage of Seguin’s line, the switch came. While Jagr shifted to a line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille, Rich Peverley stepped in between Marchand and Seguin.
“He couldn’t have gone against a worse team that’s really good down low, a Montreal team,” Julien said. “The change was made for the right reasons and it wasn’t pointing the finger at him more than it was that we needed some experienced guys down the middle.”
For practice Sunday, Campbell moved between Marchand and Jagr with Seguin on the third line with Kelly and Paille – a combination we could see against the Hurricanes.
“I think we’re mixing things up and I’ve played third line before, I guess my first year, not so much last year,” Seguin said. “I’m just going to go out there, obviously [Kelly] is a good player to play with as well.”
Seguin had said that he was expecting to need adjustment time after making the move from center in the OHL to pretty much a full-time winger in the NHL. Unfortunately, the NHL schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of on-the-job-training with just 14 games left in the season.
“Of course, I figured it would take a little while. I wasn’t expecting to snap back into it right away,” Seguin said. “Obviously, that would’ve been nice but I knew it was going to take a bit to adjust. And I think when you’re going into a game like Montreal, you know it’s a big game, I guess there isn’t any time for adjustments, you’ve just got to go out there and do it. So I wasn’t doing it.”
Seguin wouldn’t rule out a shift back to his natural position in the future, just not during a stretch run of a shortened NHL season.