The Dallas Stars are in Boston tonight to take on the Bruins, setting up another chapter in the Tyler Seguin vs. his former team saga. And so far, it’s been all Seguin, all the time.
For Khudobin, it will be his first time visiting T.D. Garden since parting ways with Boston during the offseason. The goaltender signed a two-year contract with the Stars on the first day of free agency, helping round out the Dallas goaltending tandem with his veteran skill set.
But from 2011-13 and 2016-18, Khudobin was a member of the Bruins organization. He played in 62 games, posting a 33-16-9 record along with a .914 save percentage and 2.50 goals against average. In other words, he’s a well-known name in Boston and should receive a warm welcome (though no promises when talking about Boston) as he gets the start for Dallas.
But even though he is the most recent Bruin on the Dallas squad, he still isn’t the top story in this matchup. That’s mainly because Tyler Seguin will be in the lineup.
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Let’s rewind for a second and go back to July 4, 2013. In a shocking and unexpected move, the Stars and Bruins made a blockbuster trade. The Stars sent sharpshooter Loui Eriksson, rookie Reilly Smith, and prospects Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser to Boston in exchange for Seguin, Rich Peverley, and Ryan Button. And though it wasn’t known at the time, this trade would significantly alter the fates of both clubs.
The Bruins had decided that Seguin didn’t “fit” the culture they were trying to build. As a 21-year-old and former no. 2 overall pick, he was one of the brightest young stars in the league. As Boston sent him to Dallas, they received four pieces in return. But none of those four would end up making it to the 2017-18 season while still wearing the black and gold.
Meanwhile, Seguin alone has produced more than those four combined in his five years with Dallas. Through 400 games wearing Victory Green, no. 91 boasts an impressive 176 goals and 398 points. Being just short of a point-per-game average is reserved solely for elite players in today’s game, and Seguin fits that mold.
Since 2013, Seguin has improved with each passing year. Last season was perhaps his best mark, playing in all 82 games and hitting the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career. Under the guidance of Ken Hitchcock, the 26-year-old became a complete NHL player, complementing his offensive dominance and superiority with a newfound defensive element. By the end of the season, he was a staple for the Stars in all three zones as well as on the power play and penalty kill.
And during the 2018 summer, the Dallas Stars secured their future, signing Seguin to an eight-year contract extension. The contract not only provided a spark for the team, but assured that Dallas would have a no. 1 center and consistent leader in their lineup for the next nine seasons.
The Dallas Stars have the Boston Bruins to thank for this franchise cornerstone, and Seguin has a history of thanking them in his own specific way each time the two clubs meet.
Tyler Seguin puts up solid numbers against every team in the NHL. There’s no doubting that. But when it comes to the Bruins, there’s definitely a special connection.
After spending the first three seasons of his NHL career as a Bruin, Seguin has spent the past five years with the Dallas Stars. In that span, he’s played the Bruins 10 times (five at American Airlines Center, five at T.D. Garden). In those 10 contests, Seguin has five goals, nine points, and a +1 rating. He also owns the highest ATOI of his career when playing Boston with 20:11.
It all started in Nov. 2013 when Seguin scored a goal in the shootout to a chorus of boos raining down from the T.D. Garden stands. His tally tied the shootout and set the stage for Peverley (the other former Bruin) to end it one shot later.
Since then, there has been a hat trick in Boston in Nov. 2015 that brought with it a fair amount of disdain for Bruins fans. And who could forget the magical overtime winner in Boston last January (which, ironically enough, happened to come against Khudobin).
The bottom line is that Tyler Seguin thrives in Boston. He doesn’t back down from the challenge and simply plays his game. That can be difficult for a player with history with a certain team, but it doesn’t phase Seguin.
Tonight, he will return to T.D. Garden as a Star for the sixth time in his career. There will be signs, there will be memories, and there might even be some boos. But there will also be Tyler Seguin, skating on the top line, looking to make yet another sizable impact and lead his team to a fourth win in a row.
Let’s see what no. 91 has in store for episode six.