BOSTON -- Wade Redden waited four years to get back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so only something serious could force him to miss a game.
"Yeah, it was pretty much an obvious thing," the Boston Bruins defenseman said Saturday after he took part in an optional practice at TD Garden. "But like I said, it's turned the corner. So, you know, obviously games are coming quick, so that's a good sign."
Redden missed the Bruins' Game 5 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Friday. His status for Game 6 Sunday in Toronto (7:30 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS), where the Bruins will try for a second time to end the series, will be determined on the day of the game; Bruins coach Claude Julien classified Redden as day-to-day. Redden said he felt pretty good after skating Saturday.
Redden has emerged as an important part of the Bruins' defense corps. He formed a solid third pair with Adam McQuaid, and in the first four games against the Maple Leafs had a goal, an assist and a plus-2 rating. Matt Bartkowski filled in for Redden in Game 5.
"[The third] pairing had nothing to do with our game," Julien said after the 2-1 loss in Game 5. "As you saw in the first period, we were not moving the puck well at all from the back end to the front end and a lot of turnovers and we played to their strength. And to me it had nothing to do with the pairings because there was a lot of guys out on the ice besides Bartkowski who was replacing him, but the pairings had really nothing to do with the outcome of the game.
"I think it was more our team as a whole, but Wade, as you know, has been a good player for us so far in the playoffs. Poise, good posture, good vision, stuff like that, so did we miss that part of his game? Yeah, we did."
After such a long wait to get back to the playoffs, including spending the previous two seasons in the American Hockey League, Redden was able to stay positive after missing a crucial game.
"For sure, it's all you can do, I guess," he said. "Even after a game like [Friday], when we had a chance to close them out and don't do it, you still come to the rink today and excited we still got another opportunity, so that's all you can ask for."