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Seguin's strides on D paying off

1/21/2013

There is no doubting the offensive skill of Bruins winger Tyler Seguin. The 2010 second overall pick had his breakout season in 2011-12, leading the team in points with 67 and goals with 29, and appears poised for another big season.

But one thing that may go unnoticed is the steady improvement Seguin has made on the defensive side of the puck. In the Bruins' 2-1 shootout win over Winnipeg on Monday, it was that improvement that led to Seguin's first point of the season. Seguin used his instinct to read a play coming out of the Jets' zone, stole the puck and fed Brad Marchand for a beautiful goal to tie the game, 1-1, 14:12 into the opening frame.

After the game, Seguin shrugged off talk of his improvement, but his teammates and coach surely have noticed.

"I think we've talked about it a lot," linemate Patrice Bergeron said. "He really wants to win and he wants to improve. I have to give him a lot of credit for that. He's got such talent offensively that he wouldn't have to do that, but he wants to go the extra mile to find ways to get better and improve his game and I think that will make him that much better. He's a smart player out there and if he uses that vision that he has offensively on defense, he'll be that much harder to beat."

Coach Claude Julien concurred and applauded Seguin's initiative.

"I think that’s a little bit of a good instinct, he showed that even last game," Julien said. "We had a four-on-four and he cut off a pass just inside the blue line as well. I think those kind of things, in his situation, pay off because of the skill level. Once he turns the puck over and gets going on the offense, he becomes a dangerous player. That was a great pass, too, to Brad [Marchand] and Brad made the best of it."