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Mise au Jeu

October 11, 2011

Seguin has played astonishingly well in just three games, but can he handle top line minutes?

Krejci down, Seguin up? David Krejci suffered an apparent leg injury of a minor variety during practice today. He will not be traveling with the team to Carolina. And thus, the question becomes, will Patrice Bergeron or Tyler Seguin jump into the first line center role? Hopefully Krejci is back in action soon enough. As slow as the first line has appeared through these three games, once they’re clicking, they’re unstoppable. I have a sense that Horton needs to find his legs, Krejci might still be recovering from this spring and Lucic is just being Lucic.

Tyler Seguin has been the revelation we always expected him to be thus far this season. The body of work is limited, so it’s probably too soon to project the sort of season he’ll have. He went hot and cold last year, too, with cold eclipsing hot. But his tenacity this year looks a shade different from last. There’s something more compelling and purposeful to his play.

But top line? I vote “no.” Simply–who will take those face-offs? Seguin has not proven himself a decent face-off man in the National Hockey League yet. Horton? He can fill in where necessary for those face-offs, but it’s not a strong suit. Lucic? Same–he takes the draw when Krejci gets tossed out, and he wins his fair share, but it seems untenable for an entire game. Seguin, based on his play, has earned the right to fill in at the top spot. But that doesn’t mean he should get it, for the face-off reason, and because they’ll be on the road, where they get the last change, and the Bruins will get the last sticks down in the dot.

Certainly, Pouliot with Kelly and Caron will function just fine as the third line. Bergeron doesn’t add anything to Lucic and Horton, indeed, it will detract from the Peverley-Bergeron-Marchand line that’s been clicking so marvelously.

Simply put: Seguin, for all the love we shower on him, shouldn’t be on the top line tomorrow. Julien’s not apt to switch things around too much in game, but it’s entirely possible he jiggers lines tomorrow night. We’ll see. Kid needs to learn face-offs, as far as I’m concerned.

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