Tyler Seguin (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Tyler Seguin hasn’t skated since Game 2 against the Minnesota Wild, and the Dallas Stars winger doesn’t appear likely to suit up in Games 1 or 2 against the St. Louis Blues in the second round. Seguin, 24, has three goals and nine points in his past nine games against St. Louis.
The Dallas Stars lost Tyler Seguin in mid-March to an Achilles injury when the skate of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman sliced the right ankle of the Stars winger. The diagnosis was that Seguin had a 15 percent cut to his Achilles tendon, and the belief was he would be out of action for 3-4 weeks.
Now, six weeks later, Seguin has played in just one game since the injury, skated nearly four minutes less than his average ice time when he did get into Game 2 against the Minnesota Wild and there seems to be another injury plaguing the 24-year-old. It’s not just that Seguin hasn’t played since Game 2, which was nearly two weeks ago, but that he’s struggled to even get back on the ice. And according to GM Jim Nill, it could still be a while before Seguin’s back in action.
"He can't skate yet, I can say that," Nill told the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika. "He's day to day, and once he gets on the ice, it's probably four to five days from there.”
If Seguin isn’t out on the ice yet and if Nill’s math is right, don’t expect Seguin back for Game 1 of the second-round series against the St. Louis Blues. Same goes for Game 2. And while Game 3 could be a possibility, the four- to five-day timeline for Seguin to get up to speed even puts the series’ third game in question. While that doesn’t automatically swing things in the favor of the Blues in Round Two, it undoubtedly puts the Stars in a bind.
Being without Seguin against Minnesota was never going to be easy, but the Stars boast enough offensive weapons — Jamie Benn, Patrick Sharp and Jason Spezza, to name a few — that keeping pace with a Wild team that limped into the playoffs wasn’t incredibly difficult. The Stars imposing their offensive will against a Blues squad that just ousted the defending Stanley Cup champions and shut down Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin is another story, though.
If Seguin was healthy, he could be a difference-maker in a series that will very likely boil down to the Blues’ ability to slow down the sharpshooting Stars and the Stars’ ability to maneuver through a tough Blues defense. Dallas’ run-and-gun style is built around the offensive talent blasting through opponents, and being without Seguin, who scored 33 goals and 73 points in the regular season, hinders the Stars’ ability to do that.
During the regular season, Seguin was one of only four Dallas forwards to register three-plus points against the Blues, and Benn and Seguin are one-two in scoring against St. Louis over the past two seasons. In his past nine meetings against the Blues, Seguin has scored three goals and nine points, and that type of offense could be series-changing were it in the lineup.
Unfortunately for Dallas, there’s no indication when Seguin will be back. If he’s not skating yet and will need the better part of a week to get up to speed, each passing day Seguin is not on the ice lessens the likelihood he’ll be able to make a difference in this series.