BOSTON -- Having already competed in 38 Stanley Cup Playoff games in just three NHL seasons, Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin has had plenty of ups and downs in his young career. So you can't really blame him for his demonstrative celebration after setting up Daniel Paille's overtime winner in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
After Paille beat Corey Crawford to even up the best-of-7 series, Seguin swung his arm around emphatically before throwing himself into the wild Boston celebratory scrum. It's a new goal celebration that inspired laughter from one of his toughest critics.
"My little sister kind of made fun of me for it. At the time, you don't know what you're doing. I was just excited and did a windmill hand thing," said Seguin, who was wearing a microphone during the game and was caught using some salty language following the winning goal. "She just thought it was hilarious. Obviously, I told her I never swear."
A day after what may have been his single biggest contribution to Boston's 2013 playoff run, Seguin was still laughing about his awkward celebration. But his wild windmill was the perfect way to cap off one of his best games of the postseason -- a breakout performance keyed by his being placed alongside Paille and center Chris Kelly. Paille and Seguin were particularly strong together, using their speed to combat a Blackhawks team that is among the fastest in the League.
"With Tyler, it's all about speed. Without the puck, he skates even faster," Paille said. "It's all about moving. It's the same with me. We're players that can't stay still. We have to constantly be running around to make plays. That's where we're most effective."
Paille was quick to defend Seguin in light of some of the criticism he received this season after leading Boston in scoring last year.
"When you lead your team in scoring one year, you're definitely expected to do it the following year," Paille said. "But I think [Seguin] has learned a lot through his last few years. He's dealt with adversity before, and it shouldn't be any different for him."
If his celebration is any indication, all that criticism may have made Seguin's contributions in Game 2 even sweeter. It's all part of a long maturation process for the player Boston selected with the second pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.
"I thought last night was an excellent game for him, [he] made some good plays, was everywhere around the puck, second effort was there. That's all you can ask [for]," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He's only a 21-year-old kid, this is his third year. Sometimes patience doesn't mean just for one year, patience means a little more than a year. As long as he's growing and getting better, I'm going to keep supporting him."
As he continues to find himself through these playoffs, the cross-ice pass that set up Paille's OT winner was clearly a special moment in Seguin's young career. But a day later, there was still plenty of talk about the celebration that appeared to be a long time coming.
"I didn't see it right away. But somebody told me about it," Paille said. "It was exciting. I'll have to check [the replay] out later."