Seidenberg ready for first game back in Boston since leaving B's

Seidenberg ready for first game back in Boston since leaving B's

Dennis Seidenberg admitted it’s going to be emotional and a little strange when he takes the ice on Tuesday night at TD Garden as a member of the visiting New York Islanders. Unlike current Isles teammate Johnny Boychuk, who was traded away from the Bruins for a couple of draft picks including one that turned into Brandon Carlo, the German D-man was bought out of his contract last summer by the Black and Gold.

It was a difficult ending for a good soldier in Seidenberg that was instrumental in their run to the Stanley Cup in 2011, and was a defensive warrior down to his very last game for the Bruins. It’s ended up working out organizationally for the Bruins, however, and individually for Seidenberg after signing a one-year deal with the Islanders following a great performance for Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey.

Seidenberg’s exit opened the door for the Bruins to give a spot to the 20-year-old Carlo, and he’s turned into one of a number of impressive top pair D-man rookies around the NHL. Seidenberg has been rock-solid for the Isles with four goals and 10 points along with a plus-9 rating in 24 games for his new hockey club. The successful next chapter in New York has allowed Seidenberg to turn the page, and will probably lend a little more sweet than bitter during the inevitable jumbotron video tribute he’ll receive during the game tonight.

With that in mind, Seidenberg was excited about the game while also not losing sight of the task at hand for an Isles team that’s massively underperformed this season.

“It'll definitely be different coming in [to the Garden] being on the other side,” said Seidenberg to a gathering of Bruins and Isles reporters after morning skate at TD Garden. “But it's about us trying to do our best and get the two points.”

As one would expect with a classy, experienced veteran like Seidenberg, he was going to take the high road no matter what he might be feeling inside. That’s what made him an underrated, steady presence inside the B’s dressing room during the best years of the Bruins Cup window, and it’s what he’s brought to the table in Brooklyn this season on his modest one-year deal.

“He's tough to play against down low and for me it's about his leadership,” said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. “He's come in and done a great job.”

It’s exactly those qualities that have allowed Seidenberg to remain in the league for a solid, hard-working 4-year career, and it’s what distinguished him during his 401 games of service to the Bruins from 2009-2016. Thankfully Bruins fans will finally get to their chance to say “thank you” to another departed core piece from the last Cup team as he takes the Garden ice for the first time since abruptly leaving the Black and Gold last summer.

Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

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Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

GOLD STAR: Jaden Schwartz stepped up and won the game for the Blues with a couple of really good plays in the third period and overtime. He took advantage of a line change and a lax Bruins defense to snap a shot past Anton Khudobin from the face-off circle in the third period that tied up the game, and then went on a one-man rush in overtime before blasting a puck past Khudobin for the game-winner on a beautiful individual play. Schwartz finished with the two goals that represented all of the St. Louis offense, four shots on net, a hit and a takeaway in 20:02 of ice time while logging a plus-2 rating as well. The Blues clearly needed somebody to step up to the plate with Vladimir Tarasenko and the Schwartz was with St. Louis on Wednesday night.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins were quite literally black and blue after a physical, punishing game with the St. Louis Blues. A number of players took heavy hits against a St. Louis team that felt free to throw hits and take runs with Zdeno Chara and David Backes out of Boston’s lineup among other players, and that culminated with Brayden Schenn drilling David Krejci in the second period. It was a hit that earned Schenn a two minute penalty for charging midway through the period, but shouldn’t result in anything more for the Blues forward. The hit wasn’t late, his skates were on the ice when he made contact, and Krejci was crouched down when Schenn made impact on a heavy check with his elbows tucked in, so it looked like a relatively clean hit that isn’t going to be on the radar of the NHL’s Player Safety Department. That physicality for the Blues really seemed to slow down the Bruins a little bit as things went on over the 60 plus minutes of the overtime game.


TURNING POINT: The Bruins actually only got outshot by a 15-13 margin in the second period, third period and overtime, but it was clear that they slowed down in terms of attacking and creating chances as things moved on in the game. By the latter half of the game the Bruins were simply trying to hang on to their one-goal lead, and then after that simply trying to hang in there for the point earned by getting to overtime. They managed to do it, but it was a different wave of momentum in the game once the Blues tied things up in the third period on Schwartz’s first goal. After that the Bruins were scrambling and hanging on, and did just enough to hang in there for a single overtime point for the second game in a row.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Donato made it two goals in two games when he stepped into a loose puck created by an Alex Pietrangelo turnover that bounced off referee Brad Watson after he attempted to throw a puck up the middle of the ice. Donato pounced on the fortuitous bounce and rocked a puck on edge past Jake Allen for the game’s first goal and another affirmation that the 21-year-old can both shoot and score. Donato was pretty quiet after that goal, of course, with a couple of shots on net, but it seemed like a big, heavy hit on him by Dmitri Jaskin in the second period kind of quieted the youngster down a little bit. Still, you’ve got to love the production from a player just getting his feet wet at the NHL level.

BY THE NUMBERS: 100 – The number of points for the Bruins after falling in overtime by a 2-1 score to the Blues, and in getting to the century mark the B’s clinched a playoff spot for the second season in a row.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s step one. Going into the season we wanted to make the playoffs and be a Stanley Cup contender. Right now we got in and we’re going to be a contender, right? Now it’s about being in the best position possible going forward.” –Bruce Cassidy, to reporters in St. Louis about clinching the playoff spot on Wednesday night.


Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

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Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

With a playoff berth in-hand, the Boston Bruins celebrated on Instagram with a playful video about their fans.

The short video put their fans into categories: the hugger, the faithful, the screamer, the loose cannon, the comfortable commentator and the emotional trainwreck.

No matter how the devotees enjoy Bruins games, they can all unit over their hockey team. Here's the vide for your enjoyment.

It's playoff time. Diehards unite. #InOurBlood

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