When Tyler Seguin
skated to center ice preparing to take the Bruins first shootout attempt, every pair of eyes in Nationwide Arena was focused on the 19-year-old forward.
|Boston Bruins' Tyler Seguin, right, scores against Columbus Blue Jackets' Steve Mason during the shootout of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 15, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. The Bruins beat the Blue Jackets 3-2. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) |
The speedy rookie known for his high level of offensive skill and play-making abilities in open ice, is also known for something else; going to the backhand on shootout attempts.
But last night, Seguin proved he has another valuable skill, the smarts to change things up when need be.
After B’s goaltender Tuukka Rask
stopped the Blue Jackets’ first attempt, Tyler skated to center ice where the puck was waiting for him.
He snatched it up, gained speed through the neutral zone, dangled and held the puck on his stick long enough to slide the forehand shot between Columbus netminder Steven Mason and the right post.
The goal was the eventual game-winner.
“I kind of knew in the back of my mind what I wanted to do and then I just had to react,” Seguin said after the game. “I think at the last second I wanted to go to my backhand, which is what I usually do, but I tried to mix it up and it worked out.”
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien was pleased with his youngest player’s decision-making.
“I had a feeling that their goaltender was looking for that backhanded move and he was smart enough to go to his forehand. And had enough patience and poise to slide it in there. There wasn’t much room between the pad and the goal post but he put it in the right place,” Julien said.
Although Seguin skated for less then 10 minutes through the three regulation periods and didn’t see the ice during the five-minute overtime, Julien had enough confidence to put Seguin in the spotlight during the shootout.
“He did well. He’s been one of those guys that is fifty-percent now in the shootout. And he’s one of those young guys that not everybody knows about,” Julien said.
Seguin was glad to get the nod from his head coach, and was happy to contribute after being scratched for the previous two games.
“I felt good,” he said. “First of all I felt like we didn’t play hockey in a little while because we’ve been off the last few days.”
“It definitely felt nice to be back in the lineup and anyway I could contribute to the team was good.”