Possible Seidenberg return is a ray of light cast upon a weary defensive unit
Another day, another update.
Except this time, we heard from the man himself.
Coming attraction? Is Seidenberg about to make his improbable return? (via USAToday)
Dennis Seidenberg, the sidelined 32-year-old defensive juggernaut has crossed yet another road in his road to recovery from ACL and MCL surgery, and his progress has again whipped up the hopes of Bruins Nation into a frenzy.
Speaking to Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe, Seidenberg revealed that he was "feeling better" and "could probably play right now."
Read those words again.
"Probably play right now." As in: 'I'm about as close as I can possibly be to being cleared to play without being cleared to play.'
Dupont's report also added that pain in the surgically repaired right knee for the defenseman is not an issue, nor is swelling or soreness, which are both non-existent.
A possible return to the ice, just four months post-ACL/MCL surgery and just in time to rescue a unit mired in a struggle to maintain it's defensive presence?
Talk about a ray of sunshine straight from the heavens.
The current defensive core of the Bruins have hit a rut in their series vs the Canadiens. Saving no one on the seven-man rotation used,the entire cast of the Bruins defense have experienced lapses in one way or another. Breakdowns in close to the net, a lack of awareness of their surroundings, poor markings, bad puck management/decision making, and maybe worst of all, a lack of results.
The Bruins have surrendered three or more goals in each game played, something they didn't do once vs the Red Wings in Round 1.
After a poor showing in the opening game of the series, coach Claude Julien was forced to substitute Matt Bartkowski for Andrej Meszaros in Games 2 and 3. Meszaros looked slow in Game 3 and was mostly to blame for allowing Dale Weise the open real estate to spring a breakaway goal on Tuukka Rask in the second period, which proved to be the game winner.
With the unit teetering on the brink of totally imploding, could the Bruins be in line for some reinforcement?
That reinforcement can come in the form of Seidenberg.
This video was taken back on April 17, right around the time Seidenberg was beginning to really kick his skating drills into top-notch. I'm no expert, but those drills look pretty intense for a man that went under the knife just four months ago.
If you've been following Seidenberg's recovery process, you'd note he has checked off the different aspects towards making a full recovery from a major surgery.
First comes the rehab in the weight room, then getting back on the ice and completing simple drills, slowly escalating to more intense skating practices. Then comes joining team practice. The last step is getting the medical clearance for contact.
He has still yet to be medically cleared by the doctors or trainers, which is undoubtedly the most crucial hurdle to clear before a player can play again. If the assembled brain trust isn't comfortable with the individual in question being able to receive (and dish out) full-body contact, then everything that came before that point is moot.
B's General manager refused to comment on Seidenberg's status Wednesday in Montreal.
"I'm not going to comment on that. I haven't last series, this series."
But this is lining up to be too perfect. We know the type of workout machine Seidenberg is. We've heard about how well he keeps his body in shape and how well-conditioned he is. We know how well (AHEM) modern medicine is, where recovery times for injuries can be reduced dramatically through advanced medical practices (AHEM). We've seen the videos (up above), we've watched the train as it slowly chugs up the track.
I believe Seidenberg will make his return to action in the very near future. It won't be Game 4 later tonight. It probably won't even be Game 5 on Saturday at the Garden. But if the Bruins start playing like the team we know they are, maybe a Game 6 back in Montreal on Monday? Or even the dreaded Game 7 scenario?
I think there is a legitimate shot we see Seidenberg back in the Bruins lineup before this series with Montreal is over. It seems crazy to say, it seems crazy to even suggest, but there has been a reason why the Bruins have not killed this story throughout the season.
Chiarelli, president Cam Neely, coach Claude Julien, Seidenberg himself, and the collective assemble of trainers, doctors and physical therapists, in the back of the minds, knew a return was possible THIS SEASON for the Bruins #2 man on the blueline.
As the man gets stronger, healthier and more comfortable skating with a reconstructed knee, the chances he can make a return rise. We're at a point know where it is no longer if he will return, but when.
And for a Bruins team searching for stability in many different areas, Seidenberg's presence can be a calming force in the frantic whirlwind that is Round 2 vs Montreal.