BOSTON — Tyler Seguin looks grizzled, or as grizzled as a 19-year-old can look after nine playoff games. His playoff beard has become unwieldy, looking like something from a photograph in the 1800s.
"Especially when I pop it out like this," he said, fluffing the sides of his playoff foliage for maximum effect. "It's pretty gross now. Seven days left and it'll be off.
"I'd rather have a Cup over my head with this thing than having grown it this whole time for nothing."
Seguin is back in the lineup for the Boston Bruins in Game 4 on Wednesday night, with Nathan Horton done for the season following Aaron Rome's late hit in Game 3.
"I was actually just getting out of the shower [when Horton was hit], and everyone was running around," recalled Seguin. "Everyone was very concerned, pretty angry. I saw the replay right away. It's tough to lose one of your best players."
Seguin admitted he wasn't one of the Bruins best players, or even one of their better players, in Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. He was a scratch for the team's epic 8-1 win in Game 3; he returns to a lineup that will be missing a significant offensive weapon in Horton.
"There's more motivation when you lose your top scorer and a great guy," said Seguin. "We're all ready to get started tonight."
Boston coach Claude Julien played his lineup close to the vest before Game 4, but Seguin has seen the majority of his ice time with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder, with whom he's shown a nice chemistry. Ryder was considered a candidate to fill in for Horton on the top line; chances are that might be a spot for Rich Peverley instead.
No matter his linemates, it's another chance for Seguin to make a difference for the Bruins. This is the building where Seguin became a playoff hero, scoring a goal and an assist in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and then following that with two goals and two assists in Game 2. But he said that performance isn't playing on his mind one round later.
"It's different. It's not Game 1 against Tampa. It's a new series. Last game, I was in the stands. I'm in tonight. And I'm going to seize that opportunity and play well," he said.
"I'm not saying I'm going to have four points in the second period. Just that I want to play well."