Seidenberg is really getting into it
PHILADELPHIA — This time last year, Dennis Seidenberg was rehabbing under the watch of Bruins strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides, hoping his mates could stretch things out to let him play once more. Seidenberg was recovering from a torn tendon in his arm, one that would keep him out for the postseason.
This year, Seidenberg’s postseason presence has been most welcome. Yesterday, he played 25 minutes 43 seconds, second most after Zdeno Chara (28:08). Seidenberg had two assists, two shots, and two blocked shots.
“He was really solid for us again,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “I really liked his game. He was solid. He was physical. He was strong.’’
Seidenberg started the playoffs alongside Tomas Kaberle on the second pairing. But in Game 3 of the first round, Julien stacked Seidenberg with Chara to create a power pairing that could shut down opposing top lines.
In yesterday’s 7-3 win over the Flyers, Seidenberg made just as much of an impact at the other end.
With the game still scoreless, Seidenberg pinched down the right boards to pursue the puck. Nathan Horton then rotated high, just as he did in Game 7 prior to his overtime goal against the Canadiens.
Seidenberg fished the puck off the wall and flipped it to Horton. The winger’s shot hit David Krejci’s blade in front of the Philadelphia goal, and Krejci then flipped a backhander behind Brian Boucher at 1:52 to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
“Great support,’’ Seidenberg said of Horton’s point presence. “That’s how it’s supposed to be. I pinch and I’ve got to back up that forward. Then we attack the net.’’
Seidenberg made a similar play later in the first. With the score tied at 1-1 (Danny Briere had netted the equalizer at 11:02), Seidenberg pinched once more. As he skated the puck deep into the offensive zone and behind the Philly net, both Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn pursued the defenseman.
With no Flyers in front, Seidenberg found Krejci in the soft spot. Krejci didn’t get enough on his shot, but Horton pounded in the rebound at 19:24 to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
“Guys switching, D’s and forwards switching, that creates confusion and makes it a little tougher on the defending team,’’ Seidenberg said. “Just another way of keeping pucks in and keeping pressure on the other team.’’
Steady as he goes The Bruins were briefly concerned that Andrew Ference might not be available for Game 1. He participated in a disciplinary call with Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations, on Thursday.
In the third period of Game 7 against the Canadiens, Ference caught Jeff Halpern high with his right arm. Ference wasn’t penalized for the play, but the league reviewed the incident.
Ference, paired yesterday with Johnny Boychuk, played 16:05. Ference had one assist, one shot, and four blocked shots.
Ference had started the playoffs alongside Adam McQuaid. But after the Bruins busted up Chara and Boychuk, putting the captain with Seidenberg, all the pairings were shuffled. As the second pairing, Ference and Boychuk have been solid.
“Steady is a perfect word to describe Andy,’’ said general manager Peter Chiarelli. “Whatever it is, with his partners, he manages to steady them also. He gives them nice, flat passes. He’s poised and he’s really competitive.
“He doesn’t put up huge numbers. But you look at his plus/minus and you look at the important minutes he plays, it’s not only huge minutes but important minutes. He’s got experience. He’s been good throughout the regular season and he’s been really good in the playoffs.’’
Carter remains out Flyers sharpshooter Jeff Carter, who missed the last three games of the first round against Buffalo because of a knee injury, was not available yesterday. Carter, who had one goal and one assist in four games against the Sabres, had 36 goals and 30 assists in 80 regular-season games.
Carter didn’t appear in last year’s second round against the Bruins because of a broken foot.
Nothing doing The Bruins went 0 for 5 on the power play, managing only four shots. They are now 0 for 26 in the playoffs . . . Shawn Thornton had 2:31 of ice time in the first period, more than his total workload against the Canadiens in Game 6 (2:27). Thornton played 6:15 total . . . Danny Syvret was a healthy scratch for the first time in the postseason. The defenseman had replaced Chris Pronger in the first five games against the Sabres. The Flyers dressed seven defensemen, including Pronger and Syvret, for Games 6 and 7 . . . Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette opted to dress Zac Rinaldo on the fourth line over heavyweight Jody Shelley. At 15:29 of the third, Rinaldo and Milan Lucic were given 10-minute misconducts for their parts in a post-whistle scrum. Rinaldo got the worst of the exchange — a glove-on left to the kisser . . . Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk led all players with eight shots . . . Boychuk had all six of his shots blocked . . . Tyler Seguin was a healthy scratch for the eighth straight playoff game.