THN’s Take: Two weeks ago, before Tyler Seguin had laced up his skates for Boston in the playoffs, Ryan Dixon wrote an article about the prized prospect taking lessons from Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk.
At the time, van Riemsdyk was coming off a four-goal opening round and had tallied an additional three in the first two games against Boston. Meanwhile, Seguin was in the press box learning the tough lesson that success takes time. Heck, Steven Stamkos only found his game as an elite sniper after taking some knocks in his first season.
The point was that van Riemsdyk had difficulty adapting to the NHL in his rookie season and even endured being a healthy scratch through a November stretch in his sophomore year. After taking his time, though, van Riemsdyk was starting to emerge as a power forward on his way towards reaching his No. 2-overall potential. And a best-case scenario for Seguin was for him to look down at van Riemsdyk and eventually come to that “I belong and I can do this” realization.
Mr. Dixon was on to something. And it’s safe to say Seguin was paying attention in class.
In Boston’s thrilling, nail-biting 6-5 win in Game 2, Seguin came through like a seasoned playoff veteran. Tampa Bay’s depth-liners were the difference in Game 1, but Boston answered with its trio of Seguin-Ryder-Kelly having a big night, spurred on by the rookie. Not only did Seguin get two goals, but both came off a confident stick and from a goal-scorer’s mindset.
He did, of course, add two assists and now has six points in two playoff games, which has to have Boston fans immediately ecstatic for what he’s adding to the Cup run and optimistically excited about the development he’s displaying.
1. Tyler Seguin – Two goals, two assists with three shots on net. He looked like a goal scorer and will be encouraged to shoot even more.
2. Michael Ryder – While Seguin’s two goals were the most important in helping Boston to its first two-goal lead, Ryder’s two tallies gave the Bruins their second separation and he added an assist.
3. Vincent Lecavalier – …with an honorable mention to Steven Stamkos. The two of them took over late in the game, though they were felt all night long. Lecavalier continues to redeem his superstar status with Game 2’s one-goal, four-point night. No curse here.
The Black Hole
Ryan Malone – Although Boston went 2-for-6 on the power play, neither of the markers were a result of a Malone penalty. But, he did take six minutes in the box, four while Tampa was being outplayed in the first period, and you just can’t do that in the conference final. Malone was also robbed by a shaky Thomas on a breakaway that could have tied the game at three.
The NHL Game Night Recap will get you caught up with all the playoff action. THN will name our Three Stars for each game and tabulate the results after each series. First Star = three points, Second Star = two points, Third Star = one point.