Another big step on Tuesday in Dennis Seidenberg’s improbable in-season comeback from a torn ACL — he took part in a full Bruins team practice, the first time he’s done so since suffering the injury in late December.
Update: Tap the brakes ever so slightly — Seidenberg isn’t partaking in contact drills…
Dennis Seidenberg not taking part in contact drills. Brad Marchand missing from ice. Daniel Paille skating in spot on 2nd line #BruinsTalk
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 29, 2014
The German rearguard was put on a pairing with Andrej Mezsaros in place of Corey Potter, who had been manning the unofficial No. 8 d-man role (Potter made just one appearance versus Detroit in the opening round.) It’s the latest in what’s been an accelerated return from a serious knee ailment — on Apr. 9, Seidenberg skated for the first time since surgery and, less than a month later, he’s partaking in practice.
The Bruins have been very guarded about Seidenberg’s chances to return this postseason, saying they weren’t ruling it out but also adding they weren’t optimistic about him coming back. Though they’ve played well without him, the B’s could certainly use Seidenberg’s services — he’s emerged as a terrific shutdown defenseman and, during last year’s Stanley Cup run, averaged nearly 27 minutes a night.
In October, he as rewarded for his efforts with a four-year, $16 million extension.
Without Seidenberg — and fellow blueliner Adam McQuaid — in the lineup, Boston has relied on youngsters like Dougie Hamilton (20), Torey Krug (22), Matt Bartkowski (25) and Kevan Miller (26) extensively this season, and has managed to squeeze some decent minutes out of trade deadline pickups like Potter and Meszaros.
As for the likelihood of Seidenberg returning to the lineup in the second round — there’s no set date on when the Boston-Montreal series will begin, though logic suggests it could start on Friday at TD Garden.