The Kid’s All Right

Hey, maybe this Tyler Seguin kid CAN play a little bit.

The Bruins pulled out a back and forth contest last night, 6-5 at the Garden to even the Eastern Conference Finals at a game apiece. Playing once again without Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins got a huge boost from the rookie Seguin, as he tallied two goals and two assists in the Boston win.

A star is born – Joe Haggerty compares Seguin last night to Roger Clemens striking out 20 in 1986, or Tom Brady leading the Patriots on a last-second drive to win Super Bowl XXXVI. More on the magical performance of Seguin and the rest of the game from: Douglas Flynn | Amanda Bruno | Joe McDonald | Bill Burt | Mick Colageo | Matt Kalman | Steve Buckley | DJ Bean | Eric McHugh | James Murphy

You’ll notice the absence of a story from the Globe in there. Apparently, after writing something like this on Monday…

The ever-correct fan base, of course, knows in its bones that Tyler Seguin (1-1—2 in his playoff debut Saturday night) is the cure-all to Boston’s poor start in Round 3. When the Bruins find themselves in times of trouble, the fans come speaking words of wisdom, and those words always include the inexperienced Seguin. Let it be, the Seguinaphants always say.

…it can be hard to then come out and unconditionally praise that same player. Right after the game in the Seguin press conference, Kevin Paul Dupont, who wrote the above on Monday, grilled Seguin about why we didn’t see this sort of performance in October.

Q. I think a lot of people are going to look at that game tonight and say why didn’t we see that in October or January or February. What’s your answer to that?

TYLER SEGUIN: I think it’s just a learning curve. It’s been a whole learning curve all year, and as the year went on, I felt more confident, more poised, and in big games I always want to step up. Tonight I had some lucky bounces, but I was trying to take advantage of all opportunities, and they were going in tonight.

This morning, he reminds the “Seguinistas” that the rookie scored exactly one goal over the final 23 games of the regular season, so Dupont says that Claude Julien was “absolutely not” wrong to have not played Seguin.

Now, while many are in fact going overboard in their praise and expectations of Seguin, especially after last night, the kid showed that many of the fan base were in fact, correct in calling for him to see the ice.

Then we have Shaughnessy. The downside of the Bruins making it this far is that we’ll now have columns like today’s, in which Dan compares Julien to Grady Little multiple times, and refers to Seguin as “teen angel.” How fun.

It is unfortunate that those types of agenda-riddled and inane columns overshadow the fine work done by the likes of Fluto Shinzawa at the Globe.

Thomas’ timely stops help B’s prevail – Tim Thomas was far from perfect last night, but he battled throughout taking a puck off his face, and Jesse Connolly acknowledges his efforts. More on Thomas from Jeff Hamrick and Stephen Harris.

Michael Ryder on move – Ron Borges has the winger again coming to the Bruins rescue in the postseason. More on Ryder from Danny Picard and Barbara Matson.

Bergeron continues positive strides – Shinzawa’s notebook has the assistant captain continuing to progress. The Herald Bruins Notebook has more on Bergeron. The Bruins Journal  from Dan Hickling also monitors Bergeron. The CSNNE notes from Joe Haggerty have more on Thomas coming up big when it matters. The ESPN Boston Rapid Reaction has a number of items from last night.

Big Papi reborn – John Tomase looks at David Ortiz, who is again one of the best DH’s in the game. Michael Vega also looks at Ortiz.

Alfredo Aceves stepping into starting role for Red Sox – Mike Fine has the right-hander replacing the disabled Daisuke Matsuzaka in the rotation.

Bowden will lend a hand in bullpen – Peter Abraham and Michael Vega have the righty getting a promotion. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has more on Aceves. Maureen Mullen has more on Bowden getting the call.

Russell still tallying assists – Julian Benbow and Gary Washburn have the Celtics legend being praised for his mentoring work.

The ‘What ifs?’ start with Tony Allen – Chris Forsberg says that Allen could’ve changed everything this season, and then translates that situation to the Celtics needing to make re-signing Glen Davis a priority.

  • Hoss

    Kevin Paul Dupont was the only one on Earth who thought the Bruins won the Joe Thornton trade.

    Not really much else to say about the lazy hack.

  • Alan

    I'm not shocked by KPD at all. If you look at his twitter feed he's still calling fans "cute" nicknames and generally pissing on the fan base. Look at the other lazy hacks he works with – Shank, Bedard, SMY. Cafardo. He fits right in. It's unfortunate that writers like Fluto and Pete Abraham are lumped in with the flotsam and jetsam that is the Globe's sports department.

  • suckitCHB

    FakeShaughnessy last night: "#TylerSeguin new #BobbyOrr, #TedWilliams, #LarryBird all in one. Only better."

  • latetodinner

    Not everyone can be Bob Ryan or Pete Gammons and cover a sport superbly for 30 years. KPD is what he is…a jaded beat writer who has seen it all and thinks he cannot be surprised by anything. Had he been smart he would have written a very funny "I was wrong" column and he would have great credibility today. Its not that complicated.

    To me the more interesting question (other than the fact I have now started my second Hockey related paragraph) is if Seguin goes on to be the MVP of this and the next series should Claud have a job? It took an injury to Bergeron to play the kid. Did he not see Seguin making progress in practice? Did he make a snap judgement and then decide nothing short of an injury was going to change his mind about the evaluation? Is he so entrenched in the "system" that he is unwilling to look at matchups and say this player might be better for us against the 1-3-1 because of his speed and skills so I should find a way to play him? CJ reminds me a lot of Pete Carroll…a conservative players coach who really does not have a clue about how to win…he is just really good at making sure his team is average. Before anyone jumps on me…I know he has gotten his team to the Conference finals, Pete Carroll got to the divisional round in 1997. The question I ask "Is it because of Claude Julien or in spite of him"?

  • drew

    latetodinner, wasn't it you who posted about the Bruins last week, NO ONE CARES!? what happened? NO ONE CARES!

    • tl;dr

      I still don't care.

      • Stevie

        I don't care about the Bruins, but hockey puck talk is supposed to be over by now. I care about that. My favorite hockey season was the one when they went on strike and NOBODY cared.

        • DryHeave

          why …do you want to hear more discussion about the Red Sox batting order? That's always thrilling

        • tl;dr

          Yes.

        • Jack

          Me too.

        • Big Jeff

          What's the point of logging in to tell everyone you don't enjoy hockey? Lots of people don't enjoy basketball, baseball or football, but hockey seems to get the brunt of the non-fans hatred.

          If you don't enjoy it, don't watch it. It likely means you're a significant weenie if you prefer baseball to hockey, but so be it. There's room in this world for weenies too. Just keep it to yourself and let the men's sports alone.

    • latetodinner

      Drew:
      I really do not care. Everyone seemed to be making hockey posts so I lemminged along. I admit it…I wanted to be one of the cool kids…instead I was one the people who were leaving the old Patriots stadium, bahing like the sheep we were as we are caught in the crush of people all being funneled to one exit. I will say this …I do find the off ice politics regarding whether the coach has a job or should have a job far more interesting than a discussion of how to break down the 1-3-1 zone by skating with your head up and your stick on the ice.

  • Siggy

    Just when I start to like Shaughnessy a little, he cranks out one of his 'Template Columns', changes a few names around and hits Send.

    Grady Julien? Feels like a reach…not funny and doesn't really fit at all. Oh, and I'm sure you called Bud Collins for permission to steal 'Teen Angel' from him, Dan. He only called Borg that for 20 years or so. Maybe the copyright ran out.

  • mandb97

    If you recall Dupont asked for the removal of Joe Thornton's captaincy during the 2004 playoffs. Did Thornton do something that egregious on the ice that would call for Dupont to make this call? Did he do something cheap to an opponent? Did he show a lack of caring on the ice? No, Dupont wanted Thornton's captaincy removed because he would not speak to the media. It was all about him. After a 4-3 series loss to the Canadiens, it was found out that Thornton had broken ribs and tried to play through it. I don't know, that seems shows me a lot of guts and leadership. My guess is that Thornton had trouble breathing let alone talking. Did this revelation cause Dupont to pause and think about what he believed? Not a chance, he still believed he was right.

    Now flash-forward to today, Seguin has one one of the best performances in a playoff game since, dare I say it, Bobby Orr and again Dupont can't admit he was wrong. Dupont, in my opinion, has always been overrated. Just because you have been doing something for a long time does not make you great. As Dupont shows, you can do something for a long time and still not be very good.

  • mandb97

    Bruce I'm glad you mentioned the likes of Shinzawa and Connolly. Both of these writers give a clear look at the game and what is going on. Connolly's article talks about the fact that Tampa did score five goals last night but explains how many difficult of his saves were.

    One thing I keep hearing about Seguin from the likes of Dupont and Dave Goucher is that Seguin does not get dirty enough. He does not muck the corners and too often goes for the puck on defense or does not take a hit. Should this have been a reason that Seguin who looks like he has extraordinary skills been kept on the bench? Look at some of the greats, like Beliveau, Gretsky, Sakic or even Lemieux, were they muckers? By the way, I am not saying that Seguin is any of these players yet, but his skill set seems similar. The job of the four mentioned was to put the puck in the net and if they could not, put the puck on the tape of someone who could. They used their dynamic skills to score goals, which last I checked is the most important part of hockey.

    • Tony

      The Bruins' obsessive-compulsive dedication to having a team full of "muckers" over the past 30+ years has been one of the main reasons why the only time the Stanley Cup has visited Boston since 1972 was when Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ray Bourque brought it with him on his 2001 post-Cup tour. I believe they (the B's) think they're giving the Boston hockey fans what they want by having a "tough" team that scraps, hits and fights, but doesn't score goals very often. The media has fed this perception as well. Actually, after 39 years, what I want is a Stanley Cup, and putting the puck in the net more than your opponents is still the best way to get one.

  • Rick

    Bruce, I'm glad you tempered your commentary with the line about "many are in fact going overboard in their praise and expectations of Seguin". Some of the praise and hyperbole in the media sounds like Seguin went to bed a few nights ago and woke up Wayne Gretzky. People have to be realistic. I doubt if Claude Julien saw this coming he would have had Seguin inactive for so many games. In my mind you have to look at it like the timing worked out perfectly — the kid got hot when the team needed a boost. And now you have to ride him. Hopefully this level of play continues all the way to the Cup, but you can't seriously expect him to get 2G and 2A every night.

    Go Bruins!!!

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    I am not the most knowledgable hockey fan — I'll admit that right up front. And I'm very happy for Seguin, whom I feel is a talented player. But I do think Juilen was right to not play him against Montreal or Philly. The physicality of those teams would have shut down his game entirely — they'd just put one of their faster big guys on him and bang him all over the ice, keeping him from ever getting going in the offense. He's not experienced enough yet to know how to counter that, something that a guy like Martin St. Louis (or Bergeron, for that matter) has learned along the way. Tampa is a lot less physical and a lot more positioning- and finesse-oriented in their style, and a quick puck-handling forward like Seguin has a lot more potential against them.

    • Hoss

      Montreal plays even softer than Tampa Bay. Your point certainly stands regarding Philly, but Montreal is pathetically soft.

  • latetodinner

    I was just trying to hold Julien to the same standard the press would hold Belichick or Tito to. Imagine if Belichick held the #2 pick in the draft until the conference finals…and then the kid went off…the Globe and herald scribes would be apoplectic. If the coach can't evaluate his own talent and can't x and o…then what good is he?

  • Jack

    I saw mayor "Mumbles" Menino on the news last night praising Bill Russell for his work off the court toward race relations in Boston. Maybe I'm misrembering it , as a famous pitcher might say, but I thought that Bill Russell left Boston after his playing days and wasn't seen for decades. I also seem to remember that he had nothing good to say about Boston.

    I don't know what he's been doing lately, but he didn't do much for a very long time. I am of the opinion that he's the greatest Celtic of all time and that a statue is certainly appropriate, but I don't think he was particularly friendly to Boston for a very long time. I think they feared that he might have turned them down.

  • Fred West Lynn

    Not sure the extent that it's a "policy" on the Front Page, but I applaud the decision to not provide links to bilious dreck like Shaughnessy's today. The delusional people who run the Globe continually demonstrate that they believe him to be a "must-read," and lowering the clicks can only hope to persuade them otherwise.