Dennis Seidenberg Approaching Full Health
Dennis Seidenberg is most certainly the best defenseman on the Boston Bruins next to captain Zdeno Chara. Misfortune struck, though, for both the German D-man and the Bruins when he suffered a torn ACL/MCL in a December 2013 contest against the Ottawa Senators.
From that point on, it was an uphill battle, as Seidenberg tried to overcome improbable odds to have undergone full recovery during the Stanley Cup playoffs. His hopes almost came true, but the Bruins weren’t able to advance past the Montreal Canadiens into the Eastern Conference finals. One series away from the Cup finals, the veteran would’ve taken the ice for the first time in five months, beating his injury’s standard recovery time (6-8 months) by a solid margin.
“I’ll be better. I’m confident I’ll be just as [good], hopefully better than before,” he told CSNNE. “I mean I feel conditioning wise [the knee] is great. I’ve been doing lots of cardio over the last few months. Strength-wise it’s the same…pretty good. There’s still a little pain, but that’s just stuff you can deal with, and once you play you don’t think about it.”
Young defenders Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller, and Torey Krug teamed up to fill a decently large void left behind. They did a wonderful job of accomplishing that task during the regular season, securing the second best defense in the league with 177 goals allowed.
Unfortunately, these players, without Dennis Seidenberg’s sturdy, experienced defending, couldn’t help Bruins stave off the Montreal Canadiens, who eliminated Claude Julien and Co. in a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals about a week ago.
“We have a young back line right now and I’m partially to blame if you want to assign blame,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said during his season-ending news conference, via Joe MacDonald of ESPN Boston. “Maybe we didn’t get enough at the deadline, maybe we overestimated the youth and where they were.”
In the back of his mind, Chiarelli was unsure if the Seidenberg could’ve helped rescue the B’s defense after a long time away. Sure, he was nearly ready to return. But Chiarelli rightly assumed Game 7 wasn’t a desperation issue, so slotting him into the lineup to risk future endeavors was unnecessary, especially if he’s not at 100 percent.
Regardless of the outcome in 2013-14, Seidenberg should skate at full strength next year, prepped to serve as a heavy contributor amongst the B’s blue-liners.