November 5, 2011

Seguin leads B's against hometown Leafs

by Jesse Connolly

Tyler Seguin leads the Bruins in goals, assists and points this season. (Getty)

In their quest for consecutive victories for the first time this season, the Bruins will need to defeat the Maple Leafs in Toronto this evening. It’ll be a tall task against a red-hot team that’s soared to first place in the Eastern Conference in the early-going, but some key contributions from a Bruin paying a visit to his hometown could make all the difference.

Brampton, Ontario native Tyler Seguin will lead the B’s into battle in Toronto tonight, where the team’s top point-getter is looking forward to his fourth visit to the Air Canada Centre.

It’s always special,” said Seguin. “I have lots of family and friends around the area. Even if I can’t get them tickets, they get their own and come support me. It’s always a good time.”

Due in large part to a trade that sent Seguin’s eventual draft rights to Boston in exchange for Phil Kessel, the Bruins and Leafs have rekindled a rivalry that had been dormant for quite some time.

“I think it’s two teams that have become good rivals,” Seguin said of the looming matchup. “We’re going to go in there and they’re a hot team right now. We have to be ready.”

Brad Marchand, Seguin’s new linemate after some shuffling by coach Claude Julien, agrees that the two star forwards are what has added so much life to the season series between the two clubs.

“I think the rivalry is more between Kessel and Seguin, but they’re playing great hockey right now,” Marchand said. “They’re definitely a good matchup for us right now. We want to get a roll going against teams that are hot. Playing good hockey is big for us. We have to make sure we’re ready and focused for each game and that everyone’s going to be able to step up.”

With the 19-year-old forward joining he and Patrice Bergeron on Boston’s second line, Marchand snapped a six-game point skid as the three forwards each had a point in a 5-3 win over Ottawa.

“’Segs' is a great player and he’s playing awesome right now,” Marchand said. “He brings so much talent and skill to the game. He’s a great asset to our line.”

The three, like majority of their teammates, had strong nights against Toronto in a 6-2 win at the Garden on Oct. 20, but repeating that feat against a squad that’s lost just three times in regulation over the span of 13 contests this year will take another all-out effort by the Black and Gold.

“Obviously it’s a divisional team and they’re playing extremely well this year,” said Greg Campbell, a fellow Ontario native. “It’s a team you have to take seriously now. Not that we ever didn’t, but they’re playing really well and their top two lines are flying. It’s a team we have to respect but also realize how we were successful last time we played them. Hopefully we come out with the same effort.”