Zdeno Chara saw Daniel Paille's quick shot hit the net. He didn't see Tyler Seguin's nearly-perfect pass that set up the Boston Bruins' overtime winner in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final.
Still, Chara figured, it was “probably a good pass.” It was.
It was also arguably the biggest play Seguin has made in these playoffs. By recording just his sixth point in 18 games, the 21-year-old showed that even amid a goal-scoring slump he can still find a way to be relevant.
“You've seen him grow huge as a player,” Paille said. “It's a bit frustrating for him right now that he hasn't scored like he has, but we're not too worried about him. We know that he's a special player and we know that he can and it's just a matter of time.”
Seguin has gotten his opportunities. In place of the injured Nathan Horton late in Game 1, Seguin was noticeable in finding scoring chances but also in not finishing them.
He has just one goal in the playoffs and has been shuffled down the lineup. Saturday night, coach Claude Julien put Seguin with Paille and centre Chris Kelly, and it paid off with two Boston goals in the 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
“We were moving pretty well, we were competing,” Seguin said. “Playing with more confidence out there.”
It's hard to blame Seguin if he lacked a bit of confidence given his struggles. But after a poor start by everyone except goaltender Tuukka Rask in Game 2, Julien singled out Seguin as “one of the guys that picked up his game.”
Seguin's game, from a production standpoint, has nowhere to go but up. But there are other aspects of the game, including play-making, creating for linemates and back-checking, that can make him stand out.
“I think it's even more important to play the other parts of the game when you're not contributing offensively,” Kelly said. “I think you need to pick up other aspects of your game to make them better in order to be a better all-around player.”
It's an ongoing process for Seguin, who is two years removed from the Bruins' Cup run that including him being a healthy scratch at times. It also included some breakout games.
Seguin most likely won't get healthy-scratched this time around. He's part of Boston's core, even if he's not scoring at the pace of David Krejci (23 points), Nathan Horton (18 points) or Milan Lucic (16 points).
But Game 2 was a good start.