After two games of the Stanley Cup Final, Boston's fourth line had no even-strength pulse. And Tyler Seguin had zero points. Both issues required addressing.
One was separate from the other. But the Bruins came up with a fix that solved both concerns. For Game 3, Seguin was out. Shawn Thornton was in.
All of a sudden, the fourth line had a heartbeat. And even without Seguin — the 19-year-old with the best high-end skill set on the roster — the Bruins put up an 8-spot on the Canucks.
Seguin had an idea that such a move might be coming.
"I wasn't happy with the way I played last game in Vancouver,'' said Seguin, who didn't land on the scoresheet in 8:46 of ice time in Game 2. "I don't think I played at my best.
"I can't say I was shocked. It was what it was. I gave Thorty a pat on the back and said, 'Go get 'em.' That's all I could do.''
Last night, with Nathan Horton unavailable, Seguin was back in. He skated a total of 7:48 and picked up an assist on Michael Ryder's second-period goal.
After the 3-2 Game 2 overtime loss, Bruins coach Claude Julien acknowledged that Seguin didn't play as well as he has in the past. But he wasn't as concerned with Seguin's performance as he was with the team's overall lack of identity, especially the fourth line.
Where Vancouver's fourth line of Jeff Tambellini, Manny Malhotra, and Victor Oreskovich made an impact on the game and on the Bruins' bodies (eight hits total from the No. 4 wingmen), Boston's fourth unit did next to nothing.
To get the energy and identity he wanted, Julien had only one candidate for press box duty.
"You can kind of figure it out — know what you're doing wrong, what you're doing right, and what you need to stay consistent at,'' Seguin said. "When I'm in, I know what I need to do.''
Seguin learns ins and outs
Boston Globe | Jun 9