It’s a different feel when injured teammates go from skating with trainer John Whitesides to rejoining the team for practice. It’s a different feel when players are joined by their compadres who have gone through a lot in their rehabbing stints.
On Tuesday, Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg were glad to return to the ice. Their teammates, were welcoming them, figuratively, with open arms.
Paille, who missed the first round due to a head injury, returned to practice skating with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith. The fifth-year Bruin filled in for Brad Marchand, who reportedly had the day off for “maintenance” – although it was not confirmed.
The ex-Sabre noted that he could’ve been used in the Bruins-Red Wings series. But, with the Black and Gold in control of their first round series, Paille and the B’s staff decided that extra rest was a good thing.
“It feels good to be out there with the guys for a full practice,” said Paille, who suffered his head injury after a hit from behind via Jake McCabe of the Buffalo Sabres. “I’ve skated for over a week on my own, or a couple of optional skates, but it feels good to get a full-contact practice going. I’ve been watching the games with the guys that haven’t played and realize how good we’ve been. So it’s definitely positive, especially going into the second round.”
“I feel unbelievable right now and I want to continue that throughout the week,” Paille added.
Considering that many thought he wouldn’t lace up the skates until the 2014-15 season at the earliest, it’s also an unbelievable feeling that Seidenberg is joining the team in a full practice, albeit non-contact. The German defenseman, who suffered a torn ACL after Christmas, skated with Andrej Meszaros on the fourth defensive pairing.
Seids’ return to practice, however, was an emotional lift for Patrice Bergeron as he and the rest of the Black and Gold started their preparations for their second round matchup with the Montreal Canadiens.
“It’s great to see. It gives you an emotional lift to see your teammates battling like he’s been battling to get better,” Bergeron said about Seidenberg. “Obviously he’s been doing that for awhile and it’s nice to see him back out there. I don’t know what the timeline is, but it’s nice to see him with us.”
Paille’s return is on the horizon. Seidenberg may have to wait awhile, but even if he doesn’t play in the postseason, his presence is felt in the locker room.
Chris Kelly (back) and Adam McQuaid (quad) did not skate Tuesday. But if Tuesday’s return of Paille and Seidenberg is any indication, they should be motivated to get back into the swing of things and help their team keep the eye on the prize. Because as deep as the Bruins are, a little extra depth is never a bad thing.
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