Sometimes it takes a period or two for a hockey coach to recognize who his hot hands are, and thats exactly what happened in Tuesday nights three-goal comeback with Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
The German defenseman was solid throughout the eventual 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Rangers at TD Garden, but Seidenberg had his number called quite a bit by Claude Julien in the third period as he responded favorably to the increased duty. Seidenberg was also inserted back into the Bruins power play in the third period in place of rookie Dougie Hamilton, and helped produce two of the Bs scores in the stunning last-minute comeback.
He was having a good game. I really felt he was playing very well. He seemed to be willing to shoot that puck, so we put him back there on the power play and gave him that opportunity, said Claude Julien. Its just about getting a feel about what youre seeing form your bench and from your team on specific nights. He was good tonightI thought he was a real good player for us. He was probably our best defenseman tonight.
Befitting Bostons best defenseman Seidenberg led the Bruins with 26:52 of ice time in the extra session game, led the Bruins with a plus-2 and finished with a pair of assists while admitting after the game he was feeling pretty good.
Its hard to explain but I felt like I had my really good skating legs moving around out there, said Seidenberg, who had only a single assist in eight games this season entering Tuesday nights loss to the Rangers. We had a lot of pressure going on. When we get pucks to the net with bodies there anything can happen, and thats what we did.
It was the first goal in the third period that keyed the whole comeback, and actually arrived a second after the Boston power play had expired. But the PP unit was still on the ice and that meant Seidenberg was out there after Julien had slotted him back into the special teams crew.
The German defenseman cranked a shot from the right point that Milan Lucic redirected from the slot area in front of the net. Henrik Lundqvist kicked the puck out toward his left right to David Krejci, and the center slipped a shot past the Rangers goaltender to get the blood pumping for the Black and Gold.
They scored to make it 3-0. What I said to our players once we got that first goal, you know, I was saying there was over 10 minutes left and the guys were saying listen its about getting a goal every five minutes, said Claude Julien. Its very doable and they believe in themselves. They just kept at it. We had some chances before we scored, but they just believe that they can do it.
All of that belief started with Seidenberg helping to finish off a play midway through the third period in one of his understatedly dominant performances for the Black and Gold, and the rest was history once the Bruins got rolling in their third period.