BOSTON -- Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin would’ve loved to have seen his team come away with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals instead of the 5-2 loss it suffered. But the 19-year-old forward seemed happy with his first playoff experience after scoring a goal and assisting on the Bruins’ second goal of the game by defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
Seguin said he was definitely nervous for the start of the game, but after he scored his first career playoff goal on his first career playoff shot, at 15:59 of the opening period, he was relieved and started to get into a groove.
“Definitely a bit of a relief,” Seguin acknowledged. “I think, coming in the first period, I was definitely very excited. I found myself running around just a little bit just because I had so much legs, I guess. After I had that goal, it was a bit of a sigh of relief and I could be more poised out there.”
Seguin said that he immediately noticed the difference in the tempo and speed of a playoff game right from his opening shift. But after watching from above for the past 11 games and getting some games in down the stretch run of the regular season, he was prepared and tried to use his speed as an advantage.
“I’ve been saying it just from watching it up top,” Seguin said of the level of play in the playoffs. “The intensity level and the tempo -- and being out there my first couple shifts, I could really feel a difference. Even I was saying, after All-Star Break, the tempo did pick up more now.
“It was definitely a fast game, I noticed from the first shift, just my first playoff shift," Seguin added. "The speed and intensity was a lot greater than what I remember of the end of the season. I try to put that on my game, I try to use my speed, and it worked out in some plays.”
Seguin didn’t get another shift after his goal until around the 10-minute mark of the second period. But after the game, the rookie understood the situation and wasn’t griping. He also knows if he continues to prove himself, he will get time on the power play.
“Well, we had a lot of PK's and PP's, and right now I’m not in that loop, so I was just trying to stay ready on the bench and try to motivate the guys, and in my next shift, just be ready,” he said. ”I got to contribute any way I can, and if I get that opportunity, I’m going to try to make the most of it. And I know I’ve been sitting out all playoffs, so I understand why I’m not being thrown on the power play right away.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien seemed impressed with the rookie’s first playoff performance.
“He had a good game,” Julien said. “I thought when he had his chance, we took advantage of it and scored, and obviously he had a lot of energy tonight and excitement in his game, so he was a good player for us.”