WINNIPEG — Injured defenseman Dennis Seidenberg skated for the first time since his ACL and MCL injuries, taking the ice in Boston on Tuesday, coach Claude Julien said Wednesday.
Although the Bruins said Seidenberg would be out for the rest of the season after having surgery in January, that stance softened a few weeks ago, as general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Globe there was a slim possibility the defenseman could return for the Stanley Cup Final.
“They were on the ice, but they’re not even close,” Julien said of Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid, who skated for the first time since re-aggravating his quad strain and being shut down in March.
“We’ve got to be careful we don’t get all excited about this, because in [Seidenberg’s] case, he’s just starting to skate. With the injuries he had, he’s not even close to being able to get somebody to push on him or take a hit or anything like that.
“It’s a long-term injury and obviously the rehab is going to take a while. So more out of boredom, that he’s strong enough to go out there and just skate on his own, but that’s all it was.”
McQuaid is in the same position, with no timeline for the defenseman.
As Julien added, “The doctors haven’t even told me anything about those guys being close. I can’t count on those guys.”
Krug winged it
Torey Krug skated Tuesday morning in his usual spot with the defensemen, though Julien mentioned the possibility of moving him up. By warm-ups, he was a forward – at least for one night.
With Jarome Iginla out and David Krejci a healthy scratch, the Bruins had just 11 forwards against the Wild. Enter Krug.
“It was fun for a while,” Krug said of skating with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton on the fourth line. “You get a different perspective of the game, a newfound respect for those guys. They do a lot of work. It’s nice to get a different vantage point.”
And praise from his coach didn’t hurt, either.
“I thought he did a good job,” Julien said. “He knew exactly where to go on draws and forecheck and stuff like that. It’s always a good thing to know of a player because there are times where you want to dress seven [defensemen] or you’re short forwards and you’re not in a position to have a call-up or whatever.
“I thought he did a good job up there. I thought he made some good passes, made some good decisions, so it was refreshing for me to see that you can utilize one of those guys up front.”
The last time Krug played forward was in bantam major, he said, three years before he left to play for Michigan State. He said he was “a little bit used to it, just the mind-set obviously offensively, but the battles along the boards, a lot of skating, so it was a little bit different.”
Krug shifted to defense at points against the Wild, and was back in the black sweater of a defenseman at practice at the MTS Centre on Wednesday. He joked he didn’t want to be too good at wing, and said he’ll be excited to head back to his usual position.
Iginla, Miller practice
Both Iginla and Kevan Miller returned to the ice for practice. Iginla (lower-body injury) missed three of the last four games, and Miller (undisclosed) had missed the last two games. Julien said a decision on their availability would come before Thursday’s game.
“I feel good,” Iginla said. “I felt good today. I don’t know for sure or anything, but I felt good. It’s come along well. I look forward to getting back in whenever that is, hopefully [Thursday]. Even when it first happened, it’s the time of the year and the way it is, 10 days away from playoffs, trying to make sure everything is as good as can be going in.”
Said Miller, “It was just something minor. They were just trying to maintain me. Claude said if it was playoffs it would be a different story. He’s trying to be careful. I’ve had injuries like this before. It’s not something serious. Some rest and some maintenance and stuff, it’ll go away pretty quick.”
Chris Kelly was the only Bruin who did not practice. He was injured in the third period on Tuesday, skating only one shift in the third. Julien called him “day to day,” adding, “It’s not something major, but it’s something that needs to be addressed.”
The Bruins recalled Ryan Spooner on an emergency basis, though he did not arrive in Winnipeg in time for practice. Spooner had been called up April 1 and sent back down April 4. He did not appear in a game in that time . . . The Jets, who were on the ice before the Bruins, had a tough, 95-minute practice on Wednesday, with coach Paul Maurice spending most of the time bag-skating his team. That left the ice choppy for the Bruins. It was resurfaced multiple times, with the rink crew having to do extra work on a few spots before the Bruins took the ice about 25 minutes later. Julien tested the ice before allowing his team to skate. “It was chewed up quite a bit,” he said. “We gave them the extra time. They came and saw us, the rink people, and told us they wanted to make sure they shaved it down and they flooded it. I didn’t want anybody to obviously twist an ankle or something. So it was good. There were just a couple of potholes there. Just making sure we weren’t going to get any injuries.”Amalie Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.