BOSTON -- The routine for healthy scratches for the Boston Bruins is to skate pregame with the guys, take a quick shower, straighten the tie and retreat to the press box to watch the team do what they are aching to do themselves -- play the game.
That ritual didn't work for Tyler Seguin. The walk to the Garden rafters elevator in street clothes was humbling, humiliating, even though he was only 19 years old, even though the Bruins explained in great detail the grand plans they had for him in the future -- as long as Seguin was willing to be patient and understanding.
The rookie nodded while coach Claude Julien emphasized the need to dig in the corners for the puck, to become a better two-way player, to become bigger, stronger, more experienced.
Seguin tried to do everything his coaches asked -- except when the games started. On the nights Julien left him out of the lineup, Seguin took part in the pregame skate, but when the other healthy scratches hit the showers, the kid veered off to the weight room. There, while the Bruins went about the business of winning hockey games, Seguin pumped iron and released some private frustration, sometimes for as long as the first two periods.
Looking back, he concedes, he wasn't as well equipped for the quantum leap from juniors to the NHL as he had thought.
"Very few are,'' offered veteran Shawn Thornton.
On Seguin's first day of training camp, the players zoomed past him at warp speed, as if someone had turned a switch and put the action on fast forward.
"The quickness and how fast they made decisions wasn't something I was used to,'' Seguin admitted.
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