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McKenzie: Seguin's frustrating year washed away with big game

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Bob McKenzie
5/18/2011 12:16:47 AM
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Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Tuesday night:

Tyler Seguin's Game 2 performance was epic.

It had really been a frustrating year in many respects for Seguin. He was the second overall pick in the NHL Draft - which was cause for great celebration - but he went to a Cup-contending team with a conservative coach who plays veterans over rookies, and quite frankly, his game was a little deficient defensively and he was maybe a little immature and inconsistent.

But all of that got washed away in the first two games he played in the playoffs. He got the one goal in Game 1 and then he had an absolute breakout night in Game 2: two goals and two assists for four points in an epic second period.that kind of blew this game wide open.

Those that know Seguin said that the turning point for him was late in the regular season/early in the playoffs when he wasn't playing that he started to embrace the fact that he wasn't playing and that he needed to work harder and do a lot of things off the ice.

And a guy like Gregory Campbell - a teammate and a roommate - has been mentoring him and saying 'you have to make sure you take it upon yourself to get better. Do everything you can to be ready to get in there,' and it's pretty obvious in the first two games of this series that he's ready.

Malhotra holding out hope for a return this year.

When Manny Malhotra originally injured his eye the Vancouver Canucks immediately put out a press release that basically said he is done for the balance of the regular season and the playoffs.

There did not appear to be any way that he could possibly play again in this playoff year. But there he was on Tuesday with full gear for the first time, full face shield, and everybody is getting excited.

It's highly unlikely that Malhotra will be able to play in these playoffs but it is a remote possibility. In order for there to be any chance whatsoever, Malhotra has to keep pushing the pace on his conditioning. He has to put the equipment on, he has to get out there, he has to see if the eye has any setbacks or all the hard skating has any negative impact on his recovery.

Ultimately, Malhotra doesn't make this decision; the Vancouver Canucks don't make this decision; a doctor makes the decision. There is an outside chance that if everything went perfectly, maybe - just maybe - he could play a game sometime in the Stanley Cup Final. But it's predicated on him being in good shape and the eye being in good shape and those decisions have not yet been made.

Tyler Seguin (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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