Bruins coach Claude Julien told the media yesterday that there is a possibility the Bruins might be able to start some of the defensemen who were injured. At the moment, the Black and Gold have been without Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden. All three of them missed game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals due to unspecified injuries. “It’s a little early to say,” Julien said of his injured defensemen. “It is two days [of rest] and two days in the playoffs makes a big difference as far as getting guys back. So, there’s a possibility, that much I can say. Whether it will or not, too early to say right now.”
It’s kind of disappointing for me to be honest. All three of our “rookie” defensemen (Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, and Matt Bartkowski) have done right by the team and the Nation in game one. I know our best chance for victory will be with some of the veterans back in the line up, but those three young players put it all on the line for game one. It was Hamilton’s feed to Krug that got the game tied in the third period.
In regards to Hamilton, he knows that with the return of some of the veteran blueliners, it will likely mean a trip back up to the press box. “It’s been more busy than trying because being a scratch every once and a while shouldn’t be trying for him,” Julien said. “He knew that coming in that that would happen. He was more than open to those kinds of suggestions, knowing that it was going to make him a better player down the road. If anything, it’s been a busy season for him.”
That is true. He did play in the U20 World Juniors and play in the OHL while the rest of the Bruins were in lockout mode. Even though that Hamilton will see more scratches (and Krug will be sent back to Providence), that in now way diminishes the respect the coach has for Dougie.
“If anything, he’s played extremely well for us this year,” Julien said. “We’ve got to remember that he’s 19 years old. What he’s done for us this year is brought a good sized defenseman to our team that moves the puck extremely well and sees the ice well. He’s made some unbelievable plays on some goals; we saw that early when he came in and we seemed in awe of that. Playoffs is another step and he’s taken that step extremely well, to me. Last night, again, making good decisions, he played with Zee sometimes against their top line. To be able to be put out there against the other team’s top line shows that we do have confidence in him.”