The return of Dennis Seidenberg after the defenseman missed all but 34 games last season because of an ACL/MCL injury was supposed to be a boon to the Bruins in 2014-15.
Through 33 games this season, that hasn’t been the case.
Although Seidenberg’s struggles are probably in the bottom half of the list of top 10 reasons the Bruins are not in a playoff position right now, Seidenberg is minus-1 on the season and has not been his reliable self. Most recently he had the unfortunate assignment of playing on a pair with Matt Bartkowski in Winnipeg on Friday and both defensemen were minus-2 in the 2-1 loss.
Coach Claude Julien is still waiting for the real Seidenberg to emerge.
“I think when we look at Seids, he’s come off a major injury. I don’t think anybody here thinks Seids is playing at his full potential right now,” Julien said after the Bruins’ morning skate to prepare for their game against Buffalo on Sunday. “So no matter where he’s been, he’s had his share of struggles. So I don’t think it has anything to do with right or left. You can look at Seids, but whoever he’s played with, they’ve had their fair share of struggles. He’s got to find his game and once he finds his game he’ll be a lot better. But when you look at the game, and you see what’s going on, and you look at it again, then sometimes you realize that maybe you’re pointing the finger at the wrong person. And we have to look at it objectively. That’s our job.”
With his physicality and shot blocking Seidenberg has shown he can take a lot of abuse. When asked about Julien’s criticism Sunday, Seidenberg showed a similarly thick skin off the ice.
“I mean I obviously sucked at the beginning of the season,” Seidenberg said. “But I think I’ve come along. There’s always ups and downs in the season, so I’m just trying to get stronger out of the downs and come out better and smarter and more experienced. I mean everybody goes through it. Let’s hope that that keeps going up and I only get better.”
At the morning skate Seidenberg skated on a pair with Dougie Hamilton. Maybe back on the left side, Seidenberg will start to find his stride. Although he’s not making any excuses based on what side he plays.
“There’s pros and cons on both sides,” Seidenberg said.