Welcome to Grinding Gears. Last time Angry Bruins Fan, Greg, went on a rant about the All-Star game entertainment. This week, Greg talks about the mismanagement of Tyler Seguin by the Boston Bruins staff.The Bruins development of Tyler Seguin. When Seguin was coming out of Plymouth a lot of people were calling him a "face of the franchise" center. They were comparing him to Steven Stamkos. They were saying he will save the Boston franchise.
His stat line right now? 51 games played, 8 goals and 9 assists.
Now, before everyone jumps all over me, my issue here isn't with his actual talent. My problem is how Seguin is being used for the Bruins. Seguin has played very little center this season and has seen a lot of time on the third and fourth lines. He's been combined with Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder and recently with Shawn Thornton and Greg Campbell on the fourth line. In fact, the last few games have seen him play wing while Campbell centers the "energy line" for the Bruins.
Conversely, look at the guy taken number one overall, Taylor Hall. Hall has played in 52 games this season and is closing in on 20 goals (17 as of this writing) and has 15 assists (32 points). Although Hall is on the worst team in the NHL, he's proving as to why he was taken number one overall.
After the jump... more ranting on Tyler Seguin's development...
Could the team that Seguin is on be his ultimate downfall? Seguin went number two to the Bruins because Brian Burke traded two number one picks for Phil Kessel. If Seguin was on the Leafs, would he have a more prominent impact for them than he does with the Bruins? It's all circumstantial, right?
The Bruins are loaded with talent, especially in the center position. David Krecji, Patrice Bergeron, Seguin, Wheeler, Campbell and recently called up Zach Hamill. My problem? The Bruins have used Wheeler more as a center than Seguin. With Marc Savard out, this should be the perfect time for Seguin to "get his feet wet" at center. Instead of making him a fourth line winger, he should be centering the third line with Wheeler and Ryder. Why is Hamill, someone who has played a total of two career NHL games (at the time of this writing), centering the third line while Seguin is playing wing on the fourth?
Another issue with Seguin's development? Lack of power play time. Seguin currently averages 1:32 minutes per game on the power play. His counter part, Taylor Hall, 2:41 minutes per game on the power play. With a power play that so desperately seeks a player maker (Boston's power play currently ranks 21st with a 16.8% success rate) why not give Seguin a shot at some time, even at the wing?
My last problem? Claude's decision to sit Seguin for whole periods. The most recent example of this is when Boston played Buffalo at the Garden. Despite two turnovers from Nathan Horton that led to Buffalo goals, he played the third period while Seguin sat out. I'm not sure the rationale behind these "benchings" but it can't be good for the kid's psyche, can it? Now if Claude came out and said something to the effect of "Well, he looks a little lost out there at times so we're having him study the game and gather his thoughts", I guess you could make a case for it, but even then if he "looks lost" it's bound to happen with a young kid.
Don't misconstrue my words. Seguin is a good hockey player and I believe he'll be what player we all want him to be. I think Bruins' management is doing a big disservice to him by relegating him to the fourth line and only giving him 12 minutes of ice time per game.
- Patrice Bergeron is awesome. The guy leads the team in points and has 19 goals, which is his highest goal total since he scored 22 in 2006-2007 and 31 in 2005-2006. It's clear that the effects of the multiple concussions are wearing off and Bergy is coming to form. He's also been a catalyst in the progression of Brad Marchand, something no one ever saw coming.
- Someone tweeted a question re: is Rask an untouchable (Editor's note: It was Matt Kalman). In my opinion, the kid is as untouchable as they come. Although he hasn't played well in 2010-2011, he is still maturing his skills and will be a blast to watch in the future.
- The Saturday to Wednesday break between hockey games is painful. Schedule makers should be held over hot coals for this kind of stuff.