Bruins coach Claude Julien is certainly glad he'll have a healthy Andrew Ference and Dennis Seidenberg along the blueline against the Flyers this time around.
During last year's seven-game series loss to Philadelphia, Ference played hurt after missing 17 of the last 21 regular-season games due to a groin/hernia injury and finished a minus-5 with 4 penalty minutes against the Flyers. Seidenberg didn't play at all after suffering a lacerated tendon in his left forearm late in the season.
Julien knows the importance of having fresh, capable defensemen on the ice against the physical Flyers. That said, the Flyers are also a better defensive team following the off-season acquisitions of Andrej Meszaros and Sean O'Donnell.
"They're two experienced guys that you get into your lineup and that's certainly going to help," Julien said of Ference and Seidenberg. "I know Seids (Seidenberg) has played there in Philly and always seems to play well against them."
Ference had 2 assists and was a plus-3 in the deciding game against Montreal and had a goal and 3 assists in the last four games of the series. Seidenberg, drafted in the sixth round (172nd overall) by the Flyers in 2001, will be meeting his former employer for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"It's definitely different playing here again, especially for a playoff game, and just it's something special for me," Seidenberg said."It's going to be exciting and I'm really looking forward to it."
"He's had a pretty good start to the playoffs, so you hope that continues," Julien said. "But we're going in there this time probably with a healthier squad so we hope that's going to help our hockey club. But I think last year is last year and this year is this year. As you mentioned, a lot of people are going to want to bring up the past and if anything, it's like Montreal. All the stats are probably against us with the odds and how the Bruins had fared against them in the past and down 2-0.
"It's always a new situation, a new opportunity, and that's how we're looking at it," Julien added. "Just a new opportunity for us to get past these guys and hopefully win this series."
Seidenberg has 2 goals and 9 points in 26 career playoff games and Ference has 4 goals and 26 points in 81 contests.
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