MONTREAL — There appears to have been some progress in the state of Dennis Seidenberg’s right knee. After Seidenberg told the Globe last week, “I could probably play right now,” the Bruins defenseman took some light contact at the end of Monday’s morning skate with Jordan Caron and Andrej Meszaros at the Bell Centre.
It was the first time Seidenberg has taken contact in practice since he injured his ACL and MCL Dec. 27 against Ottawa and had surgery Jan. 7, and it marks another step taken toward his potential return in this postseason.
The initial estimate on Seidenberg’s recovery was 6-8 months, which would have kept him out for the rest of the season. Seidenberg has progressed more quickly than expected, though the Bruins have maintained that they are not placing any expectations on him to return.
“We’re not counting on Dennis to be back,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said April 14, repeating comments made to the Globe three weeks earlier. “We’re going to be very cautious with this injury. He has been skating and that’s pretty much all I can say on it.”
Chiarelli indicated back in March that the type of scenario that would bring Seidenberg back this season would be the Bruins reaching the Stanley Cup Final. But that was nearly two months ago. The 32-year-old began skating again April 8, and has continued to move forward since.
The progression from taking contact to returning to game action can be as short as a week, as it was with Daniel Paille recently, but Seidenberg’s injury was more severe than most and his recovery has been faster than most.
Given also that the Bruins signed Seidenberg to a four-year, $16 million deal at the start of the season, they are likely to be even more cautious.
But there is also the fact that the left side of the second defensive pairing has been a bit of black hole, with both Andrej Meszaros and Matt Bartkowski struggling at times in the spot. The Bruins could use Seidenberg alongside Johnny Boychuk, instead of in his usual postseason top-pairing role with Zdeno Chara, though it’s hard to know how effective he would be after such a long layoff.
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The National Hockey League announced that if there is a Game 7 in this series at TD Garden Wednesday, the start time will be 7 p.m. The game would be televised on NBCSN. The Bruins, of course, are hoping to avert that game and end the series with a win Monday night.