Zdeno Chara’s team scored the most goals Sunday, but irony was the big winner in the NHL All-Star Game.
As Team Chara raced to a 12-9 victory in Ottawa, there was the Bruins’ Tyler Seguin and Toronto’s Phil Kessel skating on the same line. Of course, it was Kessel whom the Bruins traded to Toronto in 2009 in order to acquire the draft pick that became Seguin in 2010.
And playing alongside Kessel Sunday helped the Bruins again, allowing the second-year phenom to soak in his first All-Star Game to the fullest extent.
“You learn a ton,” Seguin said. “Guys know you by name and stuff like that. You get little details where you can pick their brains a little bit. Look at our first line. You can sit there and talk to them while they’re playing phenomenally, and try to figure the reason behind it so you can be just as good.”
Coach Claude Julien said it was no accident the trade pieces skated together, but had nothing to do with the trade itself.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to put those guys together, instead of making it a rivalry or who ended up with the best of the trade and so on and so forth,” Julien said. “They’re both great players.
This thing’s not about wars or competing, it’s about having fun and we thought we would.”
The Bruins open the second half of their season tonight at TD Garden against the Senators, who sit in second place in the Eastern Division, four points behind the Bruins. Ottawa is a potential second-round postseason opponent.
It was the second-round head injury to Patrice Bergeron last spring that led to Seguin’s explosion against the Lightning that revealed his vast potential to the hockey world. And Seguin continued that momentum early this season, leading the Bruins in the first half with 19 goals.
But there have been growing pains along the way, including being benched for one game in December after missing a team breakfast. But this weekend, Seguin was surrounded by leaders and role models, which can only help speed his on-ice maturity, even as he turns 20 years old today.
“It’s great for a young guy to be around veteran star players in the league that have accomplished something,” Chara said. “The way they act, the way they behave, how they approach their preparation for skills and games. It’s huge for a young guy to see. A lot of players probably think these guys just come and put on their skates and go.”