Julien praises Seguin

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Claude Julien was the last to the podium today during media availability following practice. While the Bruins coach has been criticized by some for his cautious handling of the 19-year-old rookie this season, he had nothing but high praise for Seguin today. Here are some of his thoughts:

On how Seguin has progressed over the course of the season: “Well,
Tyler was in maybe a different position I think than Taylor Hall, where he came to a team that obviously had a lot of veterans established. I guess his presence in our lineup wasn’t maybe as easy as it would have been in other circumstances. But what I liked and admired about Tyler is that he wanted to be part of a winning team. He was certainly willing to pay the price and learn throughout the season. His attitude has been great. He’s definitely bought into what we’re trying to do with him, to make him a real great hockey player in the future.”

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On what kind of player Seguin will become when he develops:

“I think from our end of it, there’s no doubt this guy is going to be outstanding. His skill level is so good. Right now the experience he’s gaining which will make him a better player. Obviously being 18 when he first came to us, 19 now, when you go from playing junior hockey straight to the NHL, the one thing that you realize pretty quickly is that guys are pretty strong and sturdy. He had to make that adjustment to that.”

On how he’s played since his four-point performance in Game 2 against the Lightning: “Although he hasn’t put up a ton of points since his first two games, he’s still done a lot of good things. He made a pass to Kelly there at the end of the first period [in Game 1 against the Canucks] that, had it connected, would have been a real top-end play. I thought he did a great job at back-checking, doing his job properly.He’s becoming an all-around player.”

And a couple of other non-Seguin comments from the Bruins coach:

On needing more out of Milan Lucic: “I think we need more out of everybody. Again, we talked about last game. If we plan on winning tomorrow, that’s something that we’re going to need more out of everybody. Milan is also capable of that. When he hits his stride, he’s on top of his game, his skating is good, his presence is good, and even his scoring chances are there. Certainly he’s a big part of our hockey club. You rely on those guys to be as good as they can be.

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On emphasizing neutral-zone play in today’s practice: “That’s one of the [ways we can generate more offense]. At the same time I think we’ve reviewed that at different times of the year just to bring the focus back in that area. I thought that’s what we did today. We thought it was a good time to review that.”

On whether it’s imperative to start fast in Game 2: “I don’t think I said we needed a better start because I thought our first period was pretty good. I said they came out at us pretty hard in the first two minutes, which was normal for a home team, wanting to set the pace. I thought after those first two minutes in the first period we handled it well. Teams always want to have a good start. If you can get that early goal, that certainly helps. Teams that are here right now have been pretty good when they score the first goal. They’ve been a hard team to beat. We’re no different than they are. Obviously that plays a big role in having good starts.”

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