BOSTON — Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was close. He was so close. In the end, though, he and the Bruins just ran out of time.
Seidenberg’s season technically ended on Dec. 27 when he tore his ACL and MCL in a game against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. That would be the last game he played in this season, but was remarkably close to making a return to game action. Had the Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens in their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series, Seidenberg says he would have made his return to game action less than five months after suffering an injury that usually requires 6-8 months for recovery.
Despite that diagnosis, Seidenberg knew right away that he was going to do all he could to make a return if the team went on another deep playoff run.
“I think in the beginning I thought, I mean they do tell you six to eight months, but I know people that come back in a shorter period of time,” Seidenberg said Friday at the team’s break-up day. “So I just told myself why not try my best and see where it takes me.”
Seidenberg returned to skating late in the regular season, and he was practicing with the team during the playoffs. He even got as far as taking some contact during practices during the Montreal series. He claims he would have most likely been ready to go by Game 1 or 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Of course, the Bruins didn’t make the conference finals after losing in Game 7 to the Canadiens.
That just added disappointment to an already frustrating year for the veteran D-man.
“It’s terrible. It’s very annoying,” he said. “You feel out of place. You feel you’re in somebody’s place. You don’t know where to be. It’s just uncomfortable, and it’s not fun watching because as I said before, you’re always the best player looking from up top on the little ice surface and seeing everything perfectly, but it’s not fun.”
The good news is that Seidenberg’s rehab is obviously progressing well. There’s no reason to believe he won’t be ready when training camp rolls around at the end of the summer, and he’s going to continue the rehab process into the summer.
“Right now it’s more about keep doing rehab until it feels great and then just keep working out,” he added. “I mean, I haven’t really had a strenuous season behind me so there’s no reason why I should take some time off. Obviously you take a couple days here and there but for the most part just getting ready for next year and hopefully feeling great.”
When he does return, Seidenberg plans on being an even better defenseman than when he got injured.
“I’ll be better. I’m confident I’ll be just as, hopefully better than before.”