B's bumped, bruised after loss to Penguins

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B's bumped, bruised after loss to Penguins

BOSTON -- The Bruins were clearly bumped and bruised following their 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it looked like theyd be no worse for the wear.

The 28 hits doled out by a punishing Penguins bunch left the Bruins reaching for ice bags and aspirin as they readied to get on a plane for a Sunday afternoon road game.

At points during the game Dennis Seidenberg, Joe Corvo and David Krejci were forced to leave the bench with assorted issues, and both Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin were dinged up as well. On top of all that Rich Peverley was mired at the end of Claude Juliens bench during the frantic final few minutes of the third period as the Bs furiously attempted to come back.

Seidenberg was hit high with an aggressive Joe Vitale check in front of the penalty boxes midway through the third period, and was ripped open with a cut that required roughly 20 stitches to sew up. Corvo had the wind knocked out of him when he collided with Andrew Ference just as Seidenberg had returned to the ice, but said he was okay following the game.

Krejci suffered a broken skate when Deryk Engelland slammed into him violently in the first period, and needed to retreat to the dressing room for equipment repairs before jumping back into the game.

Marchand appeared to suffer a shoulder injury in the third period that was hampering his ability to maneuver on the ice, but the Bs pest finished the game. Likewise Tyler Seguin caught a Pascal Dupuis high stick to the mouth that caused his upper lip to blow up like a balloon, but the 20-year-old was thanking his lucky stars that the injury didnt result in any lost teeth.

Claude Julien indicated that all of the players along with the newly recalled Jordan Caron will be taking the trip to Washington D.C. for tomorrow afternoons Super Bowl Sunday matinee against the Capitals.

Yeah, I think Seidenberg I was told he got close to probably 20 stitches from that cut he got when he got hit near the penalty box, said Julien. You saw Marchand banged up a little bit a lot of those things well see tomorrow. Those are injuries that the players came back and finished the game, and you got to check them out again the next day.One player that managed to escape any scrapes despite a hellacious collision was Daniel Paille, who was rocked by Brooks Orpik during a high-speed crash at mid-ice but was no worse for the wear. "I was going as fast as I could, wasnt even trying to hit him and same with him, Im pretty sure he wasnt trying to hit me," said Paille. "We just collided, and he ended up getting the best of me. Im sure it looked pretty bad, but I feel great."

Stay tuned to tomorrow mornings warm-up at the Verizon Center for any minor issues that could potentially turn into problems 24 hours later.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.