BOSTON – Skating for a career-high average of 23:08 of ice time this season has agreed with Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, both before and after his trade from Florida to Boston.
In 15 games in black and gold, he has posted 2-7-9 totals to run his career-high offensive output to 4-28-32 in 77 games. When he acquired Seidenberg at the trade deadline, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke of the defenseman’s improvement in all areas of the game even since last spring between Seidenberg’s Carolina Hurricanes and the Bruins. The 28-year-old German thinks he knows why he’s finally reaching his potential.
“I think it’s just getting more mature, more experience,” he said after the Bruins morning skate in TD Garden in preparation for an evening tilt against his former teammates from the Sunshine State. “I think playing more games just gives you more confidence and you just get to know the game better, and it keeps getting easier and easier the more you play.”
Chiarelli thought that adding Seidenberg’s puck-moving and savvy to his club’s back end would improve the league’s worst offense. While Seidenberg’s presence hasn’t helped the likes of Michael Ryder, Blake Wheeler and Marco Sturm find any semblance of consistency up front, Seidenberg’s offensive contributions have been a boost.
There should be even more Boston scoring chances over the season’s final six games because of Seidenberg’s willingness to contribute.
“The main thing is getting pucks to the net,” he said. “Once you do that, there’s always rebounds, bounces, you get points off. Once you get the puck to the net, everything can happen. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
On a team filled with players that fluctuate in production and effort on a night-to-night basis, Seidenberg has been a stabilizing force since arriving from the Panthers.
“I think he’s been a great addition to our hockey team,” said head coach Claude Julien. “His competitive nature, whether we look back at last year when he played against us in the playoffs, we’ve seen him for quite a few years now; I’ve always liked his game. He competes hard. He’s an honest, hard-working defenseman, physical, blocks lots of shots. Again, I like the way when he sees some room he’ll skate the puck out, he’ll take that space that’s given to him. He’s got a good shot; he uses it when he was to.
“And more than anything else, when you look at a player, you look at consistency. We know what we’re getting from him every night.”
Some defenseman have arrived in Boston in the past and struggled to adapt to Julien’s defensive schemes, but Seidenberg said the Bruins’ systems are similar to what the Panthers were doing. And fitting in among the Bruins’ bunch of characters was a walk in the park as well.
“It was really easy. The guys welcomed me very nicely and it was easy to get used to them on the ice. So it was really easy,” he said.