|Morning skate report: Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg together, Andrew Ference hopes to return||06.01.13 at 12:53 pm ET|
PITTSBURGH — The Bruins will play a hockey game for the first time in a week when they finally open the Eastern Conference finals against the Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center. From the looks of it, there will be no changes to their lineup, although Andrew Ference could be a possibility to return.
Both Ference and Matt Bartkowski took rushes with Johnny Boychuk on Boston’s second pairing in the morning skate, with Bartkowski taking the majority of them. After the skate, Claude Julien declined to tip his hand regarding Ference’s status for the game, with Ference saying he wants to play but that the decision is up to the coaches.
Another notable takeaway from the morning skate was that it appears the Zdeno Chara–Dennis Seidenberg pairing will be kept together, presumably to play against the Penguins‘ top line of Evgeni Malkin between James Neal and Jarome Iginla.
The Bruins’ lineup looked as follows in the morning skate:
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|Claude Julien on Andrew Ference decision: ‘We’re not there yet’||05.28.13 at 5:50 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Andrew Ference skated for a fifth day on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena, but for the first time with this teammates as he looks to come back from a left foot injury.
Ference was spotted walking with a walking boot on his left foot last Saturday during Game 5 of the series against the Rangers. But according to Ference, he had already been testing the health of the foot on the ice before then.
Ference injured the foot in Game 5 of the opening round against the Maple Leafs on May 10. He has not played in a game since.
“There’s no schedule,” Ference said after Tuesday’s skate, in which he was paired with defenseman Aaron Johnson. “It’s just a matter of go when you can go. I don’t think everything was ever put on a calendar. I think it was day-to-day the whole time, wasn’t it? That’s the way I’ve always viewed it.
“The last couple of days I had great skates. Today was the fifth day on the ice so it’s been really good. Obviously, it’s different when you get other guys on the ice and can actually practice. But to have four days completely on your own to do ‘Hockey School’, it’s nice, it really is. It’s kind of actually rare to get that kind of ice time to do exactly what you need. It’s beneficial.”
Ference said he’s been in a good position since he hasn’t felt rushed to return to a situation where he might not be 100 percent.
“You have help from other people when you’re dealing with something but at the end of the day, nobody knows who you feel except you. You’re not going to put yourself in a position you’re not ready for,” Ference said.
As for coach Claude Julien, he sidestepped questions about whether Ference, a leading penalty-killer for the Bruins, would earn his spot back when declared healthy and ready to go. Ference would likely nab the spot of Matt Bartkowski at this point, with Dennis Seidenberg already supplanting Dougie Hamilton last Saturday in Game 5 against the Rangers.
“You know what? We’re not there yet and until we’re there, I’m not answering those questions,” Julien said Tuesday. “It’s like we’re trying to get ahead of everything here. We’re not even close to starting a series. We’ll let him skate a little bit with us and see how he does. When the times comes, I’ll be more than happy to make that tough decision.
“It’s a good sign that he’s practicing with us. I don’t know. Again, it’s a medical issue that unless the trainers say it’s a go ‘ sometimes he may be ready, but could be a risky kind of ready. We’ll wait and see what our trainers say and how Andrew [Ference] feels, as well, before we make any decision on him.”
|Dennis Seidenberg returns for Game 5, Dougie Hamilton out||05.25.13 at 5:30 pm ET|
Dennis Seidenberg is back in the Bruins’ lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals after being out since the first period of Game 7 of the first round with a lower-body injury.
|Dennis Seidenberg a game-time decision for Game 5||at 4:32 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien said Saturday afternoon that Dennis Seidenberg will dress for warmups prior to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Rangers. The team will decide after the warmup whether Seidenberg will then play in the game.
Seidenberg has not played since Game 7 of the first round against the Maple Leafs, as he suffered a lower-body injury on his first shift and skated only one more shift in the contest.
If Seidenberg is to play, Dougie Hamilton would be the most likely player to come out of the lineup.
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|Bruins notes from Friday: Up-tempo practice as Dennis Seidenberg, Wade Redden pick it up||05.24.13 at 5:43 pm ET|
The Bruins took to the TD Garden ice for a 30-minute up-tempo, intense practice after coach Claude Julien and players admitted that their effort was there on Thursday night but not their execution.
Friday was an effort, even after a tough overtime loss, to pick up the intensity level for Saturday afternoon’s 5:30 start against the Rangers, with yet another chance to close out the series in Game 5.
“It was just a good flow, good practice,” David Krejci said. “Hard and short. We don’t know what’s going to happen [Saturday] morning but it’s kind of an odd time for the game, 5:30. We’re just taking it day-by-day and we felt that, and the coaches felt the same way, that we needed to go out there for a short, hard practice. And we did that. Now, we’re just going to focus on [Saturday].”
Krejci wasn’t overly critical of his teammates and their well-documented mistakes in Game 4 that caused them to blow a 2-0 lead and lose the game in overtime.
“It was an OK game,” he said. “There were chances on both sides but the game is behind us now. They won in OT. [Saturday] is a new game and we’re going to do everything we can to get over it.”
All Bruins were accounted for except defenseman Andrew Ference, out with a lower body injury. Dennis Seidenberg (lower body) and Wade Redden (unspecified) skated together as a D-pair Friday and have been skating all week with the team. There’s a sense that Seidenberg could return on Saturday in place of Dougie Hamilton or Matt Bartkowski. Seidenberg hasn’t played since injuring himself on the second shift of Game 7 against Toronto on May 13.
“I felt comfortable out there today,” Seidenberg said. “But again it’s a decision where I have to talk to them first. We’ll see. They’re going to ask me a couple of a questions and go from there.
Seidenberg said he is itching to get back on the ice.
“Really bad,” Seidenberg said of his desire to return. “No one likes watching hockey games, especially around this time of year, so hopefully I get back in there soon, and hopefully can help.”
Seidenberg watched from upstairs Thursday night as the Bruins failed to close out Game 4.
“We know we played a good game,” Seidenberg said. “A couple of hiccups there but for the most part, we put a lot of pucks on the nets, had quite a few chances, especially on the power play so we know we could’ve won it. We just have to stick in the moment and try to win the next one.
“Every game we want to finish with the win, especially being up 3-1, it would be nice to finish it off but again, we have to play a good game first because they have the momentum now.”
|Dennis Seidenberg on playing Game 4: ‘There’s a chance for sure’||05.22.13 at 4:07 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Dennis Seidenberg hasn’t played in a game since skating his first two shifts in Game 7 against Toronto on May 13, when he suffered a lower body injury.
“There’s a chance for sure,” Seidenberg said after skating for about 40 minutes during an lightly attended skate Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. “But again you don’t want to come back too early so I think we’ll see how it feels [Thursday] and go from there.”
How did he feel?
“Better again,” he said. “Today I went a little harder in practice and felt OK. But again, it’s still day-to-day, see how it feels tomorrow and go from there.”
Considering the Bruins are up 3-0 and all three rookie defensemen – Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski – are handling themselves well, there’s no sense in rushing back until he’s 100 percent, or close to it.
“It’s a little bit more comforting but at the end, you want to be back as quick as possible,” Seidenberg said. “Watching games is always the toughest part, and not being part of it. You definitely want to be back in there as soon as possible. You also want to be smart about it.
“For the team, it’s great. To see them perform the way they have, being poised with the puck, playing strong defensively is definitely something nice to have that depth coming from Providence. It’s nice to see. Everybody knew they knew how to play hockey and they were really good players in the minors. To have them come up and play with poise, playing confident hockey and just contributing offensively as well as defensively is definitely nice to see.”
Seidenberg missed time during the 2010 playoffs when he suffered a freak injury to his wrist, and had to watch as the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead to the Flyers.
“It’s always the same,” he said. “You don’t like sitting out. We talked about it a couple of years ago. It’s not fun watching games. I definitely want to be back in there and help.”
“Every day they’re better,” Julien said. “That’s progress. To me, it goes down to making that decision when the time comes and that decision will be made tomorrow. I like the direction both of those guys are going in right now so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
|Dennis Seidenberg still not ready, unsure of status||05.21.13 at 12:53 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Speaking for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury on his first shift in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Maple Leafs, Bruins defensemen Dennis Seidenberg said he is feeling better but still isn’t ready for game action.
“It’s tough to say how it comes along,” Seidenberg said after skating for nearly an hour throughout an optional morning skate and afterward. “I mean, today it felt pretty good. Better than the last couple of days, so it’s definitely a step forward. It’s tough to say [when I’ll] return.”
Seidenberg, who played two shifts in Game 7 against the Leafs, suffered the injury by landing awkwardly on an early play. After taking a second shift that lasted only six seconds, Seidenberg did not return to the game and has not played since. He remained on the bench, often standing up and sitting back down “to see if pain goes away and maybe somehow it recovers, but it never did.”
“You don’t want to just give up right away,” Seidenberg said, “even though it looked like [I was done].”
Claude Julien said he would be surprised if Seidenberg was able to take warmups Tuesday. Asked if he thought he could potentially be in the mix in Thursday’s Game 4, Seidenberg shrugged and seemed unsure. He certainly didn’t give off the impression of someone who thought his return was imminent.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes in practice tomorrow and make the decision [afterward] I guess, but right now it’s still open.
“It’s up to me the way I feel and when I’m ready to go,” he added. “The doctors, they just look at it and say whether they agree or not, but at the end of the day it’s whether I can perform and help the team or not.”
Seidenberg is regularly in the Bruins’ top two in time on ice and plays a major role as the right defenseman on Boston’s top pairing. It could be argued that he was Boston’s best player last postseason against the Capitals, so missing time has been hard for the veteran, who missed the 2010 postseason with a lacerated tendon.
“It’s really nerve-wracking,” he said. “Watching games is tough. It doesn’t matter who it is, watching games is never fun. You always want to be part of it and help the team win. It’s something that I don’t enjoy, obviously.”
The silver lining for the Bruins is that young defensemen have stepped up with the injuries to Seideneberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden.
“They’ve been real impressive,” Seidenberg said. “They’ve been really poised with the puck. That’s what they’ve been doing all season in Providence, I guess. I haven’t seen them, but that’s what I’ve heard. It’s really nice to have that backup and young guys to step in and stay calm and perform the way they have. It’s comforting.”
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