EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

May 18, 2013

Where's the talent?

Seguin has yet to show the ability to elevate offense and team in playoffs

The jobs of the head coach and general manager, as well as three or four second-tier players, have probably been saved. Probably.

Those crazy and historic 15 or so minutes at the end regulation and overtime of Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs have saved a lot of anguish on Causeway Street.

And Thursday night’s opening win over the New York Rangers proved two things: The Rangers aren’t all that and the Bruins still have that fight gene working.

But, above all else, there is one issue that won’t go away, even if the Bruins beat the Rangers and then Penguins:

Tyler Seguin.

Sometimes he’s good. Most of the time he’s decent. And sometimes, like much of Thursday night, he borders on being a liability.

Remember that awful tying goal by the Rangers with 1.3 seconds remaining in the second period? Seguin gave a weak attempt at clearing the puck with 3.0 seconds remaining and the rest was history.

The bigger issue is that Seguin isn’t consistently “very good” or “great,” and a lot of people could still lose their jobs because of it.

Only 21, expectations are probably a little higher than they should be. That’s the age of most college hockey sophomores these days.

But Seguin was selected second overall because he had “franchise” offensive skills. He’s one of the fastest skaters in the league. He has a very good, accurate shot. And he’s a good to very good passer. Sure, he has always struggled on defense, and he is often easily knocked off the puck, but his skill and his potential are off the charts.

We first saw it explode in the conference finals against Tampa Bay two years ago, with three goals and three assists in the first two games of the series.

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