Julien 'very hopeful' Seidenberg will play vs. Rangers

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Julien 'very hopeful' Seidenberg will play vs. Rangers

It was a little eyebrow-raising to hear that Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg had been scratched for Monday afternoons game against the Winnipeg Jets with a lower body injury. All is well thats ends well as the Bruins reconfigured their defensemen pairings most notably putting Dougie Hamilton together with Zdeno Chara and put together a competent defensive effort to take a 2-1 shootout win over the Jets at TD Garden.

It was even better news following the matinee when Claude Julien indicated that Seidenbergs absence was more precautionary than anything else, and there was a possibility hed be back practicing with the team on Tuesday. The German defenseman had been a full participant in Sunday practice after logging a team-high 23:59 of ice time against the Rangers, and appeared to have tweaked something in his leg after a collision with Ryan Callahan late in the game.

Hes day-to-day; lower body. Theres a good chance hell be on the ice tomorrow. Were very, very hopeful that hell be in next game. This is a situation, early in the season you want to sacrifice one game so that it doesnt become a two-week situation, said Claude Julien. Were just getting going here, its such a condensed schedule that sometimes if you take those chances by playing him, youll make it worse than better. We took a precaution and we were willing to live without him today. Hopefully, thats all its going to be.

Seidenbergs absence also meant that newcomer Aaron Johnson made his Boston Bruins debut paired with Johnny Boychuk, and was part of a Bs defensemen corps that all needed to raise their games without their Teutonic stalwart. Johnson finished with 16:03 of ice time and blocked a couple of shots, but all the blueliners were on high alert.

It just happens with everybody. If somebody is out of the lineup, somebody else has to fill that spot. Thats the good thing about this team, said Zdeno Chara. We have a lot of depth on this team, and guys are really taking it as a charge and motivation to be adding more minutes and playing maybe a bigger role.

As Julien indicated, the Bruins are hopeful that Seidenberg will be back in the lineup when they travel to Madison Square Garden Wednesday night for the rematch with the Rangers.

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.