BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin is not surprised he’s back to playing the wing after the experiment of having him at center was basically a bust.
"I can’t say I was shocked it got changed,” Seguin said.
After Patrice Bergeron suffered a concussion early last week, Bruins coach Claude Julien tried Seguin at center, along with wingers Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr. On Sunday, however, Seguin was back on the wing and it appears he’ll play with center Chris Kelly and winger Daniel Paille against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at TD Garden.
“We’re mixing things up and I’ve played the third line before my first year, but not so much last year. I’m just going to go out there, and obviously [Kelly] is a good player to play with as well.
“I don’t think it matters what line you are, you still want to go out there and play your game and whoever you’re playing with, I think we all know each other well enough now to click and find that chemistry right away.”
Seguin was a natural centerman during his junior hockey days, but he’s been primarily a wing since his rookie season with the Bruins in 2010-2011. He struggled at the position during the Bruins’ 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils last Thursday, and didn’t last long against the Canadiens Saturday.
Since he hadn’t played center in a while, he knew it would be an adjustment.
“I figured it would take a little while. I wasn’t expecting to snap back into it right away. Obviously, that would have been nice, but I knew it would take a bit to adjust,” he said. “When you’re going into a game like Montreal, it’s a big game, and there shouldn’t be any time for adjustment, you just have to go out there and do it, so I wasn’t doing it.
“Obviously, I feel comfortable going back to the wing. I didn’t play center too long there, but I don’t think it was working out. In the first game, a few mistakes there and then, obviously, the first couple of shifts in Montreal it just wasn’t working.”
He’s spent the majority of his NHL career on the wing alongside Bergeron, who is one of the top two-way players in the league. The last few games not having him there, Seguin has learned to appreciate Bergeron’s game a little more than usual.
“I think I’ve given him more compliments the last few days than I did all year,” Seguin said. “Definitely you have more appreciation for him. You already know how hard he works and just the little things he does, and when you’re in his position you can really feel it.”
Seguin wasn’t making any excuses for his difficulties at center, but he’s confident with the proper time to adjust back to center, he could handle the position, but right now he’ll only concentrate on playing the wing.