The Bruins suffered a serious, though hardly fatal blow to their Stanley Cup hopes when it was learned today that stalwart defenseman Dennis Seidenberg tore his ACL/MCL late in last night’s game versus Ottawa. The fan favorite German’s season came to an end when Senator Cory Conacher landed on his right leg after a battle behind the goal line with less than five minutes left in the game. His expected recovery time is six to eight months.
Just another kick in the balls for this Bruins team. They already lost new acquisition Loui Eriksson twice to two separate concussions. Steady third-line center Chris Kelly broke his leg for the second time in 2013. And the defensemen side of the bench may as well have been called “St. Elsewhere” thanks to a bevy of injuries that had the Bruins summon help from Providence a few times.
But this is a different kind of loss altogether. After Zdeno Chara, Seidenberg is the Bruins #2 D-man who is a huge part of their defensive identity with his clean but physically punishing style of play. He’s also a key contributor to the penalty kill and his loss will be felt on that unit as well. In addition to being the best-conditioned Bruin, he was, prior to this year, one of its most durable. Now, the Bs will look to fill his glaring absence.
It won’t be easy and whichever Bruin that Claude slides in that spot will have ample shoes to fill. Zach Trotman was called up today on an emergency basis. When Dougie Hamilton returns in a week or so, expect him to get a bulk of 44′s minutes. But the loss is hardly a death knell on this season. One of the hallmarks of this team is its resiliency. And that’s what they’ll do once again—absorb the blow, fill the spot, and keep on charging forward.
If the Bs do decide they’ll need to look outside the organization in an attempt to replace Seidenberg, they likely won’t be in much of a hurry. The team is in first and playing great hockey right now. They’ll likely see what they have in-house and decide on whether to make a major move with LTIR money suddenly available for them to spend.