WILMINGTON, Mass. — With two games remaining in the regular season, three Bruins players are on pace to play in all 82 this season.
While veterans Mark Recchi and Zdeno Chara are almost guaranteed to get a game off over the weekend, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will probably complete the task of putting in a full season.
That’s somewhat remarkable when you consider that prior to last season Seidenberg’s NHL career high for games played was 70.
Last season, he skated in 79 games for Boston and Florida. But he missed all the postseason after suffering a lacerated wrist in Toronto in March. When asked about possibly logging all 82 games, Seidenberg made sure to “knock on wood” before answering.
“But playing 82 games, I guess it means that I was lucky to start the season, not to get injured,” he said. “But again, any time you play 82 games you can just be thankful that you didn’t get hurt and that you’re going into the playoffs healthy and I think as much prepared as possible.”
Seidenberg said last year’s wrist injury was only the second-freakiest of his career compared to the broken leg he suffered with Philadelphia in ’04. That one, his leg “went 90 degrees the other way.” Groin, ankle and knee problems, and a broken wrist, have also haunted Seidenberg’s NHL career. But he says he never felt sorry for himself.
“I mean everybody gets groin problems or blocks shots and gets bruises. That’s what happened to me. … It’s little stuff that can always happen,” said Seidenberg, who has stayed healthy despite leading the Bruins with 172 blocked shots. “When you’re younger, it seems like you play more reckless because you want to make an impression. And that’s how you get hurt easier. And then when you get a little bit more experience, you know when to go hard and when to protect yourself. I think that helps too.”
That veteran experience has also helped Seidenberg continue to take care of himself off the ice but no overdo it.
“I think I’ve always taken care of my body well. I mean nowadays, I probably work out a little bit smarter throughout the season so I stay fresher,” he said. “Whereas when I was younger, I’d always go every day full out, which is not good, right? But you learn throughout the years.”
You also learn from watching the game from the press box how frustrating it is to not be able to affect the outcome. It was extra painful for Seidenberg, as he watched the Bruins lose that 3-0 series lead to the Flyers last spring.
“It was annoying. I hate watching games,” he said. “I’ve said that many times before. Watching from up top, everything looks so easy and you’re the best player that ever played the game when you watch from up top.”
Barring anything major, Seidenberg will be on the ice trying to help the Bruins make up for their past sins and attempting to keep his new “Iron Man” streak alive.