Bruins

Seidenberg: 'I want to stay' in Boston

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Seidenberg: 'I want to stay' in Boston

One would expect the Bruins will be making a final decision on a general manager sooner rather than later with roughly a month until the NHL Draft.

But that won’t be the only change for a Black and Gold franchise just beginning to put together the pieces after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007. There is free agency, of course, in the weeks following the NHL Draft weekend, and plenty of trade opportunities around the late June draft weekend in Florida. A core player or two could be shipped away from Boston to shake up last year’s underachieving roster, and free up salary cap space for roster improvements. There’s most certainly work to be done with impending free agents like Dougie Hamilton, Brent Connolly and Ryan Spooner, and Hamilton serving as the big priority in restricted free agency.

With that in mind there’s an incredible amount of uncertainty among the Bruins players about who might be staying, or who might be going.

“It’s a little weird,” said Dennis Seidenberg, while participating in Rob Ninkovich's Ping Pong Challenge for charity at Blazing Paddles on Monday night. “Not only are we not playing in the playoffs, but there’s the uncertainty of what’s going to happen with the GM and stuff. There are a couple of things that are a little different from the last few years.

“[Peter Chiarelli] did great things for the organization, but I guess some changes had to be made. I’m sure they’re not done [making changes] yet. I’m sad to see him go. Now it’s up to them to find a new guy, and it’s up to him to find new chemistry, new players or whatever he wants to do.”

There were trade rumors surrounding the 33-year-old Seidenberg last season, and that makes it doubly challenging for any player to feel their spot is safe when there’s a new boss emerging on the scene. That might be mitigated a bit if, as expected, Don Sweeney takes over the GM gig, and many of the current group get at least one more season together.

That’s exactly what Seidenberg is hoping for following an up-and-down season coming back from major surgery on his right knee, and plenty of tough moments paired with struggling young D-men like Matt Bartkowski throughout the season. Seidenberg played 22:06 per game and appeared in all 82 games, but also finished as a minus player for the first time in his five seasons with the Bruins.

The German defenseman has no trade provision entering the second year of a four year contract signed with the Bruins, but hopes it doesn’t come to using it, or deciding not to, after he committed to play in Boston. It might not always be perfect, particularly in a challenging season like last year was for all of the Bruins.

But Seidenberg has enjoyed the best years of his NHL career in Boston, and there’s a motivation for him to return to full form.  

“You look at St. Louis and they haven’t made the second or third round in the last few years and haven’t made any changes, but you don’t know what’s going to happen. Some organizations are less patient than others,” said Seidenberg to CSNNE.com. “You never know. You really don’t know. You’ll just see what happens.

“I want to stay. There’s no question about it. I like it here. I like the people. I like the fans…the city.

“Even when they can be tough on the players, you just want to be in an environment like that so you can thrive in it. People expect big things from you, and if you don’t bring it then they’re on you. But that’s normal, and that’s what you want. It’s something you can’t control, but I know that I’m going to be better next year. So we’ll see.”

There doesn’t seem to be much doubt the Bruins are doubling down on toughness and their time-honored Big Bad Bruins style after last year’s milquetoast season. Seidenberg fits into that mold as a strong defensive warrior when at his best, and the hope is he can get back to what he was even as he rapidly approaches middle age for an NHL player.   

 

Talking Points: Krejci, DeBrusk answer the bell in Bruins' win over Panhters

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Talking Points: Krejci, DeBrusk answer the bell in Bruins' win over Panhters

Here are my talking points from tonight's 4-2 Bruins win in South Florida . . .

GOLD STAR: David Krejci didn’t have a single point during the five-game losing streak. But on Saturday night he stepped up and, lo and behold, the Bruins took home two points. It was Krejci helped kick-start the transition game for Jake DeBrusk’s goal in the first period, and then scored one of his own in the second on a strike from the top of the faceoff circle. Krejci finished with a goal and two points and a plus-2 rating in 16:20 of ice time. He also had five shot attempts and won 9-of-14 faceoffs in a game where the second line providence plenty of offense and pressure. Bruce Cassidy slipped Charlie Coyle up to second-line right wing with Krejci and DeBrusk at the outset of the game, and it seemed to work well for the Black and Gold.

See the highlights from Boston's 4-2 win>>>

BLACK EYE: Jonathan Huberdeau is having a very good season for the Panthers, but he wasn’t able to bring out his “A” game for Florida against the Bruins. Huberdeau didn’t get a single shot on net in the 21:25 of ice time that he played. He finished with three giveaways and a minus-1 against the Bruins. He was part of the line set to contain the Krejci line, but instead allowed them to march right up the ice on DeBrusk’s first period scoring play. Huberdeau was also on ice in the third, when Florida coach Joel Quenneville pulled the goalie with more than two minutes to go, only for David Pastrnak to quickly notch an empty-netter that sealed the game. Not a good night for a very good player.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins weathered the storm in the third when the Panthers came hard after them and carved out a couple of goals to cut the lead to 3-2. Considering that the Bruins blew a 4-0 third period lead against the Panthers at home just a month ago, there was certainly some nervous, anxious moments, with the Bruins looking like they’d blow a three-goal lead in the third period this time. But the B’s stiffened after Jaro Halak gave up a soft goal on a Keith Yandle point shot to make it a one-goal game. They didn’t allow Florida to take advantage of any other breakdowns. Instead the B’s hung in there, patiently waiting until the Florida net opened up the winning scoring chance for them.

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HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk was at the heart of some of the criticism from Bruce Cassidy after the loss in Tampa when the second and third lines weren’t getting much of anything done. DeBrusk was also one of the players that responded in a big way this weekend by scoring the game’s first goal, a pretty nifty dangle through Florida defenders before beating Sergei Bobrovsky in tight close to the net. DeBrusk also fed David Krejci for his second period goal, finishing with five shot attempts and a couple blocked shots in 15:38 of ice time while posting a plus-2 rating. Perhaps just as important, DeBrusk was winning 50/50 battles for the puck and playing a competitive brand of hockey rather than doing fly-bys in a lot of areas while hunting the puck. If DeBrusk played with the same kind of speed, skill and tenacity on more nights, he’d be a difference-maker for the Bruins more often.

BY THE NUMBERS: 28 – The number of goals for David Pastrnak after collecting two scores against the Panthers, and putting himself in a position where he’s easily going to have 30 goals before the Christmas break.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I thought we did a really good job. Every line played well. We moved some guys around, but right up and down the lineup all 12 forwards, 6 [defensemen] and Jaroslav Halak were all really good.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN when asked his assessment of the win that snapped the longest B’s losing streak (five games) since he took over as head coach.  

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Highlights: B's snap losing skid vs. Panthers

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Highlights: B's snap losing skid vs. Panthers

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 4, Panthers 2

IN BRIEF: Oh not, not this again? After the Bruins’ epic third-period collapse in their last meeting with Florida, they nearly repeated themselves after going up 3-0 after two periods. Keith Yandle’s goal with 11 minutes left made it 3-2, Boston fought off the Panthers long enough for David Pastrnak to get an empty-netter that sealed it. And so, after coach Bruce Cassidy called out their attention to details earlier in the week, the Bruins snapped their losing skid with a solid all-around effort.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 21-7-6 (48 points, 1st in Atlantic Division)

HIGHLIGHTS

DEBRUSK’S 100TH CAREER POINT IS A BEAUTY

KREJCI MAKES IT 2-0

PERFECTION LINE MAKES IT LOOK EASY

UP NEXT:

vs. Los Angeles, Tuesday, 7 p.m., NESN

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