Tyler Seguin made Claude Julien look bad Tuesday night, by being so good.

That, no doubt, is what many think in the wake of Seguin's electrifying two-goal, two-assist performance during the second period of the Bruins' 6-5 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"It was definitely a fun period," Seguin said yesterday.

It was an astonishing breakout performance by a young kid, an effort that will be talked about for years to come in hockey circles and used as a standard for a little-used player stepping up and rising to the occasion at the most important time.

Many folks may view Julien's part in this as akin to the greatest hockey movie ever, "Slap Shot," in which player/coach Reg Dunlop (played by Paul Newman) refuses to play his new guys, the Hanson Brothers.

Finally, with nothing to lose, he turns them loose, and they change everything for the present and future of the fictional Charlestown Chiefs. They bring new life to a team going nowhere.

Tyler Seguin on Tuesday might well have changed everything for the Bruins. If he doesn't deliver those remarkable seven second-period shifts ā€” scoring two lovely goals and setting up two more ā€” who knows if the B's win.

If not, the Bruins are sunk in an 2-0 hole as they take the ice tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum for Game 3, and the Stanley Cup dream is fading fast.

Instead, this very strong road team is in position to win at least once here and take the home-ice advantage back to Beantown, with a new offensive threat that makes the Cup seem much more in reach.

Now, many fans and media sorts, maybe even some good hockey people, are looking at this and saying, "Why the hell wasn't this kid playing earlier? Indeed, why wasn't he given a bigger role in the regular season? Claude Julien is a dolt."

Seguin admitted yesterday it was tough sitting and watching the first two playoff rounds.