As part of our preview heading into the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, we've asked Joe McDonald and James Murphy to answer nine big questions (one per day) facing the Boston Bruins. Here's our Day 6 question:
Can Tyler Seguin follow up his breakout season with even more in 2013?
Joe McDonald: Bruins coach Claude Julien understands that Tyler Seguin possesses “unlimited potential” and the more confidence he gains, the better he gets in all aspects of the game.
The talented, 20-year-old forward enters his third season in the NHL and should have another breakout season. He helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup during his rookie season in 2010-2011, and last season he led the team in scoring with 29 goals and 38 assists for 67 points in 81 games, including a plus-34 rating.
There’s no reason to think those numbers won’t increase in 2013.
No doubt he’s a talented player with his speed, puck-handling abilities, play-making skills and sniper-like shot. It also helps that he’s on the same line with centerman Patrice Bergeron, who is considered the best two-way player in the league, along with crafty winger Brad Marchand.
Seguin also adds an important aspect on the team’s power play with the ability to score with his big one-timer.
During the lockout, Seguin was able to stay sharp by playing in Switzerland, where he registered 25 goals and 14 assists for 40 points in 29 games. Once the puck drops on the shortened 48-game schedule on Saturday, when the Bruins host the New York Rangers at TD Garden, Seguin should be one of the best players on the ice.
James Murphy: The sky is the limit for Tyler Seguin as he enters his third NHL season.
After having his breakout season in 2011-12, Seguin continued his torrid scoring ways over in Switzerland. While the level of play there was clearly not that of the NHL, the initiative Seguin took was a good sign for the Bruins and their fans. This is clearly a player that loves hockey and wanted to be in the best possible game shape when the NHL lockout ended. With his natural skill, that can only mean good things.
I expect Seguin to surpass his offensive performance of last season. I also expect Seguin's defensive game to improve. He learned the hard way in his rookie season just how important it is to be good in your end of the ice as it is to be on offense, and that is especially true if you're playing for Claude Julien. As Julien preaches, the best offense is a great defense, and that translated into Seguin's game last year.
As long as Seguin doesn't get caught floating or not working hard, he should continue to be a rising superstar.