Monday night was different for Tyler Seguin.
On the eve of his first appearance in the NHL playoffs last Saturday, the 19-year-old wunderkind in waiting suffered through a restless night, his eyes more often opened than closed. Ever since he first knew what the NHL was all about, his dream was to be in this situation — headed onto the ice in the playoffs.
Now here he was.
And it was enough to keep a guy awake all night.
"I don't know if it was nerves or just excitement but I had a hard time sleeping,'' Seguin admitted following yesterday's morning skate before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals at the Garden against the Tampa Bay Lightning. "I kept saying I was not going to go out there and just rush around, but that's what I did (at first).
"I was surprised. I never get as nervous or excited as I was. You see a lot from up top, how intense it is, but the speed and intensity was a lot greater than what I remember of the end of the (regular) season. I just tried to use my speed, and it worked out in some plays. After my second shift it was 'welcome to playoff hockey.'?"
Seguin looked entirely comfortable last night, scoring two goals early in the second period, one of them a stunning rush through the Tampa defense.
Calmness comes with experience but also with success, and although the Bruins [team stats]' chances in Game 1 blew up in 85 frantic seconds during which they gave away three goals, Seguin scored once and assisted on the second goal in the 5-2 loss, centering the third line between Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder.
That he was also on the ice for two of those lightning-like Lightning goals was ignored by those observers calling for Claude Julien to 'Do something!'
That was loosely translated into giving more ice time to the second pick in last year's draft, if for no other reason than the fans wanted to see his speed added to a team whose power play has grown so inept it has scored only twice in 41 playoff chances and was 0-for-4 in Game 1.
Tyler Seguin learns fast about playoff pace
Boston Herald | May 18