If Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg knows whether he is going to be back in the lineup for Saturday’s Game 5 against the Rangers, he didn’t give it away to reporters following Friday’s optional team skate.
However, he was one of the first Bruins to take the ice for what was a brief but intense workout at TD Garden.
Seidenberg, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury on his first shift in Game 7 of the first round against the Maple Leafs May 13, initially looked a bit stiff but appeared to loosen up as the practice progressed.
Following the workout, the 31-year-old told reporters that he is continuing to improve and felt “comfortable” on the ice.
“Ice time right now helps me,” Seidenberg said. “It doesn’t matter what it is. It always helps somebody getting back. It helps you get your timing back a little bit and maybe a feel for the puck.”
Asked how much he wants to play Saturday, the defenseman replied, “Really bad. Nobody likes watching hockey games, especially around this time of year. Hopefully I get back in there soon and hopefully I can help.”
Veteran blue liner Wade Redden, who has been out with an upper-body injury, also was on the ice, paired with Seidenberg, but coach Claude Julien wouldn’t commit to any lineup changes.
“I keep telling guys they’re progressing every day,” he said. “That’s why you see them on the ice.”
Andrew Ference (lower-body injury) was the lone Bruin not to participate in the skate.
If Seidenberg does return, defenseman Dougie Hamilton — who was visibly upset in the locker room Thursday night after New York’s Chris Kreider beat him for the game-winning goal — is the likely scratch.
However, Hamilton’s willingness to take responsibility for his mistake seemed to impress his coach.
“I think the one thing our guys have been is they’ve done a great job being accountable,” Julien said. “Acknowledging it is certainly a great thing because it means they know what needs to be done and then, from your end of it, you make the correction and then you show confidence in them that they’re going to go back and get an opportunity to redeem themselves.”
Julien went on to say that he has been happy with Hamilton’s work alongside Zdeno Chara in this series.
“We’ve played four games in the series,” said Julien “and then you look at one goal and do you jump all over [Hamiton] for that or do you give him a pat on the back for everything he’s done so far in the series and us being up, 3-1? I think it’s more that.
“We want to rally back tomorrow and play an even better game so that we can win this series. That’s all we’re thinking about right now, not about mistakes and everything else more than, ‘What do we need to do here tomorrow?’ ”