Chiarelli: Bruins not counting on Seidenberg return

Chiarelli: Bruins not counting on Seidenberg return
April 14, 2014, 1:30 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

BOSTON – While the door is still potentially ajar for injured Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid to possibly return at some point during Boston’s postseason run, B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli made it clear the team isn’t counting on that to happen.

Seidenberg (right knee surgery) and McQuaid (strained quad) have both begun skating on their own over the last week after being out of the lineup since Dec. 27 and Jan. 19 respectively. Seidenberg projects to possibly be ready at the beginning of June if things continue ahead of schedule, but there are no guarantees.

“We're not counting on Dennis to be back,” said Chiarelli, sounding the same consistent tone from the Bruins since the subject was first broached. "We're going to be very cautious with his injury. He has been skating, but that's all I can say on it. It really hasn't changed.

“I like the fact we have eight [defensemen] that can play. We’ve spent the last little bit experimenting with the pairs, and that’s been a luxury because of where we were in the standings. Hopefully it will be two months, and we’ll be using everybody.”

Matt Bartkowski has stepped up in Seidenberg’s absence, and put together a season with 18 assists and a plus-22 in 19:32 of ice time over 64 games during the regular season.

But the Bruins also have eight healthy defensemen in front of Seidenberg and McQuaid at this point after dealing for Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter, and Chiarelli likes what he’s seen out of his entire corps headed into the playoffs.

“We want to be careful on it,” said Chiarelli of McQuaid, who has missed 50 games this season with the injury. “It's not a major injury; it's a soft-tissue injury. We've been doing okay with the [defense] we have, so we're going to be cautious with him.”

Chiarelli wouldn’t elaborate on the condition of Daniel Paille, who was knocked out of Saturday’s win vs. Buffalo after a collision with Jake McCabe. Claude Julien said he was “feeling much better” when asked about Paille prior to Sunday’s regular season finale against the Devils.