BOSTON — The news was mostly positive about the Bruins two ailing defenseman after an optional practice today at the TD Garden.
Dennis Seidenberg, who missed his first game of the season last night, said he’s feeling fine and could be cleared to return to the lineup over the weekend when the Bruins play a back-to-back against the two New York teams.
Seidenberg was cut by Tim Thomas’ skate last Saturday night and the cut became infected over the course of playing in the Bruins’ next two games. He said it wasn’t painful, but it swelled up to pique his and the doctor’s concerns.
Adam McQuaid, who left Thursday night’s shootout loss to Washington in the first period after a hit from behind by Jason Chimera, will not make the trip to New York. McQuaid’s eye is swollen shut, according to head coach Claude Julien, and it will require a couple days to heal. But according to the coach, McQuaid did not suffer a concussion.
If the Bruins are missing both Seidenberg and McQuaid, you can expect Mike Mottau to join Joe Corvo as a top-six fill-in, although rookie Torey Krug is available.
•Two games in a row now, Julien has switched Tyler Seguin to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand’s line and Rich Peverley to David Krejci and Milan Lucic’s line during the third period. With that the type of success those combinations have had late in games, one might expect the coach to go to those lines at the start of games. Julien explained his reasoning for having those units start the games the other way around:
“Probably if I did that, I’d have to do the same thing and reverse them at the end. So, it just seems that somehow making that change, twice it’s happened where we scored, but it’s just one of those situations where I think it’s more about sometimes you’re looking for a little bit of a change here. And we’ve seen Tyler play with [Bergeron] before and that line not doing much either. So it’s something that I keep in mind when I start the game and know that we can move them around.
“Yesterday with Peverley with [Bergeron], I wanted him to play against Washington’s top line. And then when they lost Chimera, [Alexander] Ovechkin almost started double shifting, so eventually it didn’t really matter if I switched those two guys.”
Prior to Peverley’s return from injury, Julien had been starting Jordan Caron on Krejci’s line and often switching him with Seguin late in games.
•Julien expressed more positivity about Tuukka Rask’s path to returning from his abdominal/groin injury.
“He’s working out off the ice and he’s working out pretty hard,” said the coach, “and he’s doing very well, actually. So he’s certainly a guy who’s recovering very well.”
•Nathan Horton continues work out off ice but isn’t cleared to skate.
•Julien would not reveal his goaltending plans for his team’s games this weekend.
•The Bruins can clinch a playoff berth with a Buffalo regulation loss tonight against Pittsburgh. Should Buffalo win, Boston would still need at least one point against the New York Islanders Saturday.