|Matt Bartkowski, Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid take part in optional Bruins practice||04.21.14 at 12:47 pm ET|
The Bruins held an optional non-contact practice Monday at TD Garden before departing for Detroit to play Games 3 and 4 of their first-round series against the Red Wings.
Matt Bartkowski, who has not played in either of the first two games due to a stomach flu, did take part in the skate. After skating together earlier in the day, Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid also participated in the practice. Daniel Paille, Chad Johnson and Corey Potter were the other participants.
Paille, who hasn’t played in since April 12, has been skating since Friday. Chris Kelly has not skated since April 8.
Regarding Paille and Kelly, Julien said that both players have been out of game action long enough that they would need to take contact in practice before playing.
As for Seidenberg, who has been ahead of his recovery from ACL/MCL surgery from early January, Julien said that he is isn’t overly surprised that Seidenberg has been skating for nearly two weeks. Seidenberg was expected to miss the rest of the season and be out for 6-8 months.
“I guess according to our trainers and our doctors, they thought he’d be going through that process and at one point he’d be skating before next season,” Julien said. “So he’s on track right now, probably even a little ahead of the curve because of his conditioning and how strong he was, even before that injury. I guess he’s a well-trained individual, and those guys have a tendency — athletes have a tendency — to recover a little quicker than the normal person. He’s on that track right now.”
The Bruins won’t rule out a potential return for Seidenberg this season, though they say they’re not expecting it to happen. The fact that Seidenberg is skating more and more and taking sharper turns would suggest the possibility that he could play if the team makes a deep run. Julien said he’s not getting overly excited.
“Because nobody’s told me anything that would get me excited, that’s why,” Julien said. “I went to our trainers and asked if it was OK for him and McQuaid to skate with the rest of our team because there’s no contact, no drills. It’s the same drills they did when they went on the ice earlier. A lot of it is for encouragement reason. Just those two on the ice together for a while gets tough, but being out there with more players and do a little more, it’s exciting for them. I thought mentally, it would be a good opportunity to meet with the rest of the guys because of the type of practice we were having.”
|Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Matt Bartkowski miss Bruins practice again; Dennis Seidenberg increases workload||04.17.14 at 1:04 pm ET|
Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille and Matt Bartkowski were all absent from Thursday’s practice, which puts their availability for the start of their series against the Red Wings in question. Kevan Miller, who had not practiced Tuesday or Wednesday, did return to practice.
Following the practice, Claude Julien wouldn’t rule any of the three out.
Paille has not played since leaving the team’s win over the Sabres last Saturday with what appeared to be a head injury, while Kelly sat out the last three games of the season with back spasms. Neither have practiced this week, while Bartkowski, who didn’t have any injury-related absences from games this season, has been off the ice as well. He may be dealing with the flu, as several Bruins had been sick earlier in the week.
“I don’t know that it’s official yet on any of that stuff,” Julien said. “Today was another day where we had another player, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. It’s hard for me to start giving you my lineup when I don’t know what’s going to happen day to day. Hopefully it continues to improve, which it has this week, and we’ll go from there.”
Dennis Seidenberg skated again prior to practice Thursday, which marked at least the fourth consecutive day in which he took the ice. Seidenberg did the same routine that he had done in recent days (big laps, smaller circles in the neutral zones, shooting and moving laterally across the blueline), but added a drill in which he skated out to a cone and took a tight turn before catching a pass and turning. Tighter turns would suggest further progress as he tests what his surgically repaired right knee can handle. Video of that drill is below.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘I just totally don’t expect’ Dennis Seidenberg to return||04.16.14 at 1:11 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about Dennis Seidenberg and the upcoming playoff series against the Red Wings. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
When Seidenberg tore his ACL last December, most assumed he was done for the season. But with Seidenberg back on the practice rink, some have speculated that he could be back at some point, including Peter Chiarelli. Brickley said if Seidenberg is going to come back, he has to come back at full strength.
“He’s just such an incredibly strong athlete that if he can look like he’s able to play and actually get up to speed and be a productive player then that would be a tough decision, but a good decision to have to make,” Brickley said. “That being said, I’m still in the camp that I just totally don’t expect it.”
Added Brickley: “I think if he’s back he’s going to play regular minutes. And I don’t think they want him in a 10-15-minute range. … If he’s in the lineup and he’s playing, he needs to be able to handle similar minutes.”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was the coach of the Canadian team for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, with Claude Julien his assistant. While the two shared coaching ideas and strategies during that time, Brickley doesn’t see it as an advantage for either coach.
“I don’t think we’re at any point of the season now where there are any secrets, with all the video pre-scouting that you do, with all the actual scouts that represent Detroit that have been following the Bruins over the last month or two,” Brickley said. “Everybody is well aware of how the Bruins play and everybody is well aware of how Detroit defends as well. Usually Claude Julien gets the checkmark when it comes to who’s got the better coaching when you’re comparing two teams, but this one is a pretty even matchup when it comes down to that.”
|Video: Dennis Seidenberg skates again before Bruins practice||04.15.14 at 10:59 am ET|
Dennis Seidenberg skated for at least the third time and second straight day Tuesday as he took the ice with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides prior to Bruins practice at TD Garden. Fellow defenseman Adam McQuaid was not on the ice.
Seidenberg skated for at least 20-25 minutes and was moving pretty well, going hard for single laps at a time and later doing harder circles in the neutral zone. He also took passes from high in the zone before shooting (video below), but perhaps the most positive sign was that he took passes along the wall and moved laterally along the blue line before taking shots from the point.
Seidenberg wasn’t moving as quickly as he moved laterally, but the fact that he was doing it all should be taken as a good sign.
The Bruins initially ruled Seidenberg out for the season after he suffered the ACL/MCL tear on Dec. 27, but he is ahead in his recovery. Though the team won’t say they expect him back late in the playoffs, they also aren’t ruling him out.
‘We’re not counting on Dennis to be back,’ Peter Chiarelli said Monday. ‘We’re going to be very cautious with his injury. He has been skating and that’s pretty much all I can say on it.’
|Dennis Seidenberg skates again, Peter Chiarelli says Bruins aren’t counting on his return||04.14.14 at 12:06 pm ET|
Dennis Seidenberg skated Monday at TD Garden as he remains ahead of schedule in his recovery from ACL and MCL surgery, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli cautioned against expecting Seidenberg to return at some point during the playoffs.
The B’s have not ruled out a postseason return for Seidenberg, however, after initially declaring him out for the season at the time of his injury in late December.
“We’re not counting on Dennis to be back,” Chiarelli said Monday. “We’re going to be very cautious with his injury. He has been skating and that’s pretty much all I can say on it.”
Adam McQuaid also skated Monday in his comeback from a quad strain that limited to 30 games this season. Multiple setbacks in his recovery led to the team shutting him down for about a month in early March. Chiarelli said there isn’t much clarity on his situation.
“Not really, no,” Chiarelli said. “‘¦ We want to be careful on it. It’s not a major injury; it’s a soft tissue injury. We’ve been doing OK with the D we have, so we want to be cautious with it.”
Given the emergence of Kevan Miller, it’s unlikely a healthy McQuaid would be needed unless a right-shot defenseman struggles or is injured.
Daniel Paille left Saturday’s game with what appeared to be a head injury, but Claude Julien told reporters Sunday that Paille was feeling “much better” and was day-to-day. Chiarelli said following his updates on Seidenberg and McQuaid that he hadn’t intended to give injury updates (common practice in the postseason) and as such did not offer an update on Paille’s status.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins in position ‘where they can afford to experiment’||04.11.14 at 12:30 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ road to the Presidents’ Trophy and the postseason. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
While Boston clinched a playoff berth back in March, the team is two points away from clinching the Presidents’ Trophy following Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Jets in Winnipeg.
“It’s not so much about winning and losing, you want to see some positive things in your game whether it’s coming from behind, whether it’s having a few good penalty kills, some good power-play situations, making sure your defensive players are obviously stepping up and doing what they want to do,” McGuire said.
“The most important thing, though, you want to be playing well situationally going in, especially when you’re in a situation like the Bruins are where you’re one of the top teams, if not the top team, in the league.”
Since clinching a spot in the postseason on March 21, the Bruins have gone 5-5 and have lost two straight.
“You’ve put yourself in a position where you can rest guys who you chose to rest, you can experiment with some different things offensively, defensively, matchup-wise,” McGuire said. “You don’t want to get players hurt, obviously. You want to make sure they’re high-octane going into the playoffs. … [It] is really important to remember the Bruins have put themselves in this position where they can afford to experiment and still maintain a lot of their organizational integrity just because of how well they’ve played all year long.”
“They really think there’s potential,” McGuire said. “I wouldn’t say he definitely will, but there’s potential that he can come back because he’s been so impressive with his training. The Bruins do this about as well as any team in the league in terms of rehabbing players and getting them back.
“Dennis — he’s such a solid athlete and such a competitive person — it doesn’t surprise me that he did everything in his power to try to come back. … Will he help? Absolutely. But you do not want to rush this player back. You have to make sure that it’s signed off on by the doctors. If it’s not signed off, then you can’t put him in the lineup. But if it’s signed off on, boom, put him in.”
For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Dennis Seidenberg should not supplant Kevan Miller||04.09.14 at 1:30 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about Dennis Seidenberg, the injuries to Jarome Iginla and Kevan Miller, where Andrej Meszaros fits on the depth chart, the play of Matt Bartkowski and more. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
With momentum picking up on Seidenberg playing in the postseason at some point, fans have started to wonder where the defenseman would be on the depth chart. Brickley said he didn’t think that the 32-year-old should be slotted back on the top pairing at the expense of Miller, who’s played well in his absence.
“I just find it so difficult to put a guy that’s not a hundred percent, or depending on what percent he is, in front of say, Kevan Miller, who’s been getting the job done, who’s in top form, who’s game-ready and ready to go and proven that they have trust in this guy,” Brickley said.
Miller and Iginla both missed Tuesday’s matchup with Minnesota, despite making the trip. Brickley is confident both will be ready to go for the playoffs.
“If this was playoff hockey right now, I’m convinced both would be able to play,” Brickley said. “It’s all about maintenance, it’s all about rest, it’s all about precautionary, those are the terms you’re going to hear right now. Because the Bruins put themselves in this position, they have the options to really focus on the middle of April and not so much on the results and having guys play right now.”