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Claude Julien’s patience, ‘hunch’ pays off for Tyler Seguin

Sean Leahy
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BOSTON -- Going cold in the postseason is nothing new for Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin. After putting up 6 points in his first two playoff games against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final, Seguin had a hard time finding the scoresheet the rest of the way, contributing only one assist as the Bruins went on the win the Stanley Cup.

Two years later, and two years older, Seguin was going through another dry spell, having potted just one goal through three rounds for the Bruins. But a switch to the third line in Game 2 -- pairing him with Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille -- paid off. The line was a part of both Boston goals as they evened their series with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien said he was playing a "hunch," and that putting Seguin on the third line wasn't so much a demotion as it was just finding a way to get him going offensively.

"As long as he continues to play the way he has, I thought [Saturday night] was an excellent game for him. [He] made some good plays, was there, everywhere around the puck, second effort was there," said Julien.

One of those places Seguin found himself was along the wall in overtime to receive a pass from Johnny Boychuk. He squared up, identified an open Paille, then gave him a cross-ice feed. The play ended with the puck behind Corey Crawford for the game winner.

"We were able to come up big, and for Claude [Julien] to kind of put a guy and have him stick in there, it definitely makes us feel comfortable and confident and good about our game," said Paille.

The line found instant chemistry. It's the kind of adjustment a coach makes during a series that could swing future results. If the trio continues to contribute positively, that's another thing Blackhawks' head coach Joel Quenneville and his staff will need to gameplan against.

Getting Seguin going in the postseason has taken some time, but if Game 2 is any indication, the Bruins' depth just got a bit of rejuvenation.

"He's only a 21-year-old kid; this is his third year," said Julien. "Sometimes patience doesn't mean just for one year, patience means a little more than a year.

"As long as he's growing and getting better, I'm going to keep supporting him."

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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