PHILADELPHIA — All of the Bruins are eager to get their second-round series with Philadelphia under way and have a shot at redemption for last year’s historic collapse, but none may be quite as excited as Dennis Seidenberg.
The veteran defenseman has plenty of motivation for this one. For one, Seidenberg was originally drafted by the Flyers in 2001. He made his NHL debut with Philadelphia in 2002 and played there until being traded to Phoenix for Petr Nedved on Jan. 20, 2006.
“It’s definitely different playing here again,” Seidenberg said before Saturday’s Game 1 at the Wells Fargo Center. “This is where I started, so it’s something special for me. It’s going to be exciting and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
It’s Seidenberg’s first chance to face his old club in the playoffs. He missed last year’s postseason after suffering a sliced tendon in his forearm late in the regular season. The injury proved less painful than having to watch helplessly as the Bruins squandered a 3-0 series lead against the Flyers.
“Last year was painful,” Seidenberg said. “Just watching games, it’s not fun. You’re more nervous I think watching then when you are playing. So to be able to play this year, it’s definitely been fun and I’m really enjoying it.”
The Bruins hope to have a healthy Seidenberg and Andrew Ference, who returned for that Flyers series last spring but played at well under 100 percent last year with a groin injury.
“Seidenberg and then obviously Ference who is another player who was injured and wasn’t 100 percent last year for us in that stage, and those are two experienced guys that you get into your lineup,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “That’s certainly going to help. And I know Seids has played there in Philly and always seems to play well against them. And he’s had a pretty good start to the playoffs here, so you hope that that continues.”
Seidenberg had 1-2-3 totals and 21 hits against Montreal in the first round, and he hopes his presence will have a positive impact in this rematch.
“I hope it’s good,” Seidenberg said. “I can only try to do my best on the ice. We are healthy this year and we just have to try to keep playing like we did in the first round.”
Seidenberg isn’t just familiar with the Flyers organization. He also played for current Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette when he was in Carolina.
“I really liked him when I was in Carolina,” Seidenberg said. “His style of play is really aggressive and he seems to get the best out of his players. He just knows to motivate the team and get them going in the right direction.”
Now the Bruins just hope that with Seidenberg and Co. back healthy on the blue line, they’re headed in the right direction toward a victory over Philadelphia and an extended playoff run.