BOSTON -- The Bruins appear to be getting healthier.
Kevan Miller returned to action for Game 2 against the Red Wings. Both Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille will travel with the team to Detroit. And Paille, Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid all skated in an optional non-contact practice on Monday morning at TD Garden.
Matt Bartkowski was also on the ice as he works his way back from the gastrointestinal virus that tore its way through a large part of the roster.
Seidenberg and McQuaid have been skating separately with the Bruins' strength and conditioning staff since the second week of April, but coach Claude Julien thought it would be beneficial for them to get on the ice with their teammates. It hasn’t pushed up the timetable for either player, but did buoy their spirits during a difficult time missing out on playoff games.
“I went to our trainers and asked if it was okay for [Seidenberg] and McQuaid to skate today with the rest of the team,” said Julien. “Because there's no contact, there's nothing, it's just a simple drill so it's the same drills that they did before we went on the ice with that group. They were on early here and stayed on with that group.
“A lot of it is for encouragement reasons. You know, just those two on the ice together all the time, it gets tough after a while. Being out there with more players and being able to do a little bit more is a little bit more exciting for them. I thought, mentally, it would be a good opportunity for them to be with the rest of the guys today because of the type of practice we were having, and our trainers agreed.”
Julien continued to maintain that Seidenberg is on schedule in his rehab, but that there’s nothing imminent as far as a return to the playoffs. Raffi Torres is probably the most realistic case to look at, given his right knee injury this season, and it took him exactly five months to return after surgery.
That would put Seidenberg on a possible return date at the beginning of June if all of the stars align, but it still remains to be seen if they would push a player back into the playoff heat after a six-month injury hiatus.
“According to our trainers and our doctors, that’s the protocol," Julien said. "hey figured [Seidenberg] would be going through that process and at one point he’d be skating before next season. So I think he’s on track right now, probably maybe even a little ahead of the curve because of his conditioning and how strong he was even before that injury. He’s a well-trained individual and . . . athletes have a tendency to recover a little quicker than the normal person. He’s on that track right now.”
Julien otherwise didn’t have many updates about missing players potentially returning to the lineup for Game 3 on Tuesday night in Detroit, and one shouldn’t expect much information given the world of secrecy surrounding injured players once the Stanley Cup playoffs begin.