BostonBruins.com -- Seth Griffith was celebrating a Game 7 victory of his own when he saw the Boston Bruins epic comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the decisive game of their first round series Monday night.
A fifth-round pick of Boston (131st overall) in 2012, Griffith helped secure the Robertson Cup with two assists in London Knight’s 3-2 win over the Barrie Colts (and fellow Bruins prospect Anthony Camara) in the seventh game of the OHL Championship.
“I’m excited,” the 20-year-old Griffith told BostonBruins.com. “We’re the first team in Knights’ history to win back-to-back OHL championships. The team’s very excited and we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished this year. At the same time, it’s in the back of our heads what we did last year. We lost in the Memorial Cup Finals in overtime. We want to go into this tournament and get some redemption.”
The Knights want to make sure they take care of business this time around. They will take on the host Saskatoon Blades in the first game of the round-robin portion of the Memorial Cup on Friday in Saskatchewan.
“Our goal at the start of the year was to part ourselves in the position to have another chance to win a Memorial Cup and we’re on our way to doing that,” said Griffith.
The 5-11, 185-pound native of Wallaceburg, Ontario has been a star for London during the postseason, despite injuring his hand prior to the playoffs. Griffith didn’t feel 100 percent when the playoffs began, but was the Knights’ third-leading scorer in the postseason, notching 25 (nine goals, 16 assists) points in 21 games.
Griffith also ended playoffs riding a six-game point streak and recorded a point in 16 of the 21 playoffs game.
“Seth missed considerable time with his injury and while it may have taken a few games to get his timing back, he has averaged over a [point per game] and has not shied away from the heavy going in the playoffs,” said Bruins Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney. “That includes absorbing two huge hits from fellow Bruins' draftee Anthony Camara.”
It has been quite a run for the winger. Does he consider himself a big-game player?
“I think every hockey player, that’s what you dream about when you’re younger, playing in big Game Sevens, overtime games,” said Griffith, who tallied 12 points in the OHL Finals. “I definitely like playing in big game like that. It’s great because we have a lot of big players on our team that like to play in those situations. I think that helps us a lot. That’s what’s gotten us to the point that we’re at right now.”
Feeling comfortable in big games will bode well for his potential NHL future, especially if it is with the Bruins, who have gone to seven games in six of their last seven postseason series.
“For sure,” Griffith said without hesitation, when asked if he would like to be a part of that in a Bruins uniform some day.
Griffith caught the end of the Bruins stunning victory over Toronto from the dressing room on Monday night and was impressed with the determination the Black & Gold showed.
“It just shows the Bruins organization has a lot of great guys in the room, a lot of great character guys,” he said. “It’s tough to battle back, there wasn’t much time left, they pulled their goalie twice and they ended up tying it up and then Bergeron scored in overtime.
“It just goes to show they kept going and going. They didn’t give up. It was great to see they came back in overtime to win the series.”
The winger, who has spent the last four seasons with London, said his first year as a member of the Bruins organization has been “great.”
“Sweens has kept in contact with me all the time, helps me out with stuff he thinks I need to improve on or stuff I’m doing good. It’s been great so far,” said the Knights’ assistant captain.
“I’m just looking forward to keep being a part of it.”
“Seth's leadership on his London team was impressive as he was on pace to lead the entire league in scoring before his injury yet his entire focus for the season was a return trip to the Memorial Cup,” said Sweeney.
“His ability to score, play two way hockey, as well as contribute on the penalty kill, shows how versatile the young winger will be as a pro next season.”
To be a successful player at the professional level in the future, Griffith acknowledged that he must still seek to improve his all-around game, however.
“I think if you want to play big-time minutes in the NHL you have to play good defense, especially with the game now,” he said. “If you’re out of position at all, or lose your guy for a split second, it could end up in the back of your net.
“I think every player, especially in the OHL, the CHL and junior leagues, are working on developing their defensive side of the game and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
Despite the fact that he is still working to up his game, Griffith was second on London, and 11th in the OHL, in points during the regular season with 81 (33 goals, 48 assists) in 54 games.
“Just working hard,” said Griffith, on what allowed him to succeed. “I just go out there and try to win my hardest every shift, every game.”
He will be trying to win some more starting on Friday when the puck drops at the Memorial Cup. Griffith wants to end the year a the highest note possible.
“Especially for guys that are over-agers and guys that may not be coming back to the league next year,” said Griffith. “We’d like to try and do it for them and, obviously, winning the Memorial Cup would be a cherry on top of everything because we went on that 24-game winning streak this year.
“We had a good playoffs, we finished first in our league, we just won the championship, so that would definitely be a cherry on top for us.”