|Chara and Seidenberg catch a break at practice |
It was frustrating for captain Zdeno Chara
and the rest of the Bruins, who temporarily surrendered the second seed in the Eastern conference, as well as the Northeast division lead to the Ottawa Senators.
So when the B’s took the ice for their St. Patrick’s Day matinee against the Philadelphia Flyers, Head Coach Julien turned to the pairing of Chara and veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg
– the team’s parachute in a big-game situation.
“The last few games have been big. So, whatever [the coaches’] thoughts were, they thought the best thing would be to play [us together],” Seidenberg said. “We do whatever they tell us to and no matter who I play with, we always try not to get scored on and play solid defensively, and we did that [Saturday].”
The B’s defense proved tough as the team jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and even after surrendering two goals to the Flyers, they allowed just 15 shots in the third period and overtime in the 3-2 shootout victory.
“We just stayed with it,” Seidenberg said. “It would have been easy for us to let our heads hang and just kind of stop playing. But I think our mindset was good [Saturday], we wanted to win this game. And you saw after they tied it up we just kept going and kept getting chances.”
The defensive pairing of Chara and Seidenberg is often anticipated, considering the success they had in last year’s playoffs.
Seidenberg contributed a goal and 10 assists, while Chara added two goals and seven assists as they combined for a plus-28 rating.
“We got together and we played together the whole playoffs last year and so we’re used to each other,” Chara said. “Just like with anybody else, we’re just used to each other. That’s the way this group – it’s been working for, as long as I’ve been here. But, you know, we try to keep the pairings against certain guys and it worked well.”
When asked if the pairing will stick, Julien said that he will use it only when he sees fit.
“Everybody likes that pairing because of what they did last year in the playoffs, but as I said at the beginning of the year, it’s a long year, and maybe eventually you’ll see that combination,” Julien said.
“Whether it disappears for a while and comes back, that’ll depend on the teams we’re playing against – it depends on who’s in the lineup, and what players they’re playing.”
That said, Julien didn’t shy away from the fact that when the two defensemen are on top of their game, they make for a good line of defense.
“But at the same time, you’re not going to hide the fact that you like that pairing, especially if both of them are at their best. They’ve probably become out of the best pairs in the league,” said Julien.--- Anthony Gulizia