Do the colors of a sweater really matter? Some could make that argument just by watching a particular player evolve on the ice.
The Boston Bruins are no strangers to scouting players who can not only help out the franchise, but turn their careers around just by lacing up for the Black and Gold. There is just something about the spoked B that will forever be special.
This season, the Bruins had two breakout players who have been solid competitors on the ice.
Dennis Seidenberg, who now has played two full seasons in Boston, has turned into a true number two defenseman. The fans got shades of this emergence during last year’s Stanley Cup run when he was paired up with Zdeno Chara in game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Montreal Canadiens. The rest was history.
Seidenberg is a shutdown defenseman who can match up against the league’s best offensive tandems. He will only get the recognition he deserves if he is observed in person and not just on the stat sheet.
The truth be told, his numbers will never jump out at anyone. Seidenberg recorded only 5 goals and 18 assists during the regular season. Once the playoffs come around, the German-born blue liner kicks it into another gear.
In the first three games of the 2011-12 postseason, Seidenberg has logged over 27 minutes of ice time per game, eight hits, and one assist. Again, no tremendous numbers in the points column, but he will do the little things right. He should receive some Conn Smythe consideration if the Bruins make another deep run.
At the other end of the ice, Benoit Pouliot has certainly turned some heads in a positive way.
Bruins management received some mild criticism after the news broke about acquiring the left winger. As a former fourth overall draft pick who could not find his game in Minnesota or Montreal, he was considered a bust.
Leave it to the Bruins’ coaching staff to inject some much needed confidence in a player who was searching for it desperately.
This season has been one of Pouliot’s best seasons as a professional, recording 16 goals and 16 assists for a career-high 32 points. So far this postseason, he has posted one goal and one assist in three games.
What is more impressive about his play recently is that he has become more physical and has stuck up for teammates during scrums. This was one aspect of his game that was lacking when he played for other organizations. By playing with Chris Kelly for most of this season, he has turned his career around.
Is it a coincidence that the Seidenberg-Chara pairing has been called upon to shut down potent offenses? Is it a coincidence that the Pouliot-Kelly-Brian Rolston line has been the most consistent line in the playoffs so far? Just something to think about as the playoffs unfold.