Boston Bruins Report Cards: No.44 Dennis Seidenberg
by Anthony Travalgia http://thehubofhockey.net
Throughout the offseason, TheHubofHockey will be posting daily report cards on each individual of the 2010-11 NHL Stanley Cup Champions, Boston Bruins.
In order of jersey number, each player will be highlighted. In today’s edition, we have Bruins Defensemen No. 44 Dennis Seidenberg
Name: Dennis Seidenberg
Weight: 210 lbs.
Contract: $3.25 Million through 2013-14
2010-11 NHL Season stats:
Regular season: 81 GP, 7-25–32, plus-3, 41 PIM, 166 SOG
Playoffs: 25 GP, 1-10–11, plus-12, 31 PIM, 63 SOG
Line combinations (dobberhockey.com):
EV: Johnny Boychuk 20.61% Zdeno Chara 73.25% in post season
PP: Boychuk 19.79 % Tomas Kaberle 45.20% in post season
PK: Boychuk 25.14% Chara 72.91% in post season
Anthony’s Take: After coming to Boston from Florida at last season’s trade deadline, only to play in 17 games before a arm injury caused him to miss the remainder of the regular season, entire playoffs, Bruins fans didn’t really know what to expect from the defensemen coming into the 2010-11 season.
One year, and a successful Stanley Cup run later, Seidenberg has transformed into (my opinion) the best Bruins defensemen. No. 44 set a career high with in goals (7) and points (32), but it’s not his offense that makes him so special, it’s his all-around play.
Seidenberg led the team with 174 blocked-shots, a very underrated, but important stat. When the playoffs rolled around, Seidenberg didn’t skip a beat. In 25 playoff games Seidenberg tied Tomas Kaberle for most points in the playoffs by Bruins defensemen with 11. Seidenberg’s 74 blocked shots in the playoffs led all of the NHL in the post season.
When Seidenberg was paired up with Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara during the playoffs, the duo instantly found success and became one of the best defensive pairings in hockey. Their ability to shut-down the other team’s top guns was a key reason as to why the Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions.
Final grade: A
Marino’s grade: When Peter Chiarelli made the deal to land Dennis Seidenberg last year, it wound-up being his best transaction since taking the reigns in ’06 – by far. Chiarelli committed grand theft auto in the first degree when he scored big ‘ol No. 44 from the Panthers, as Seidenberg has solidified himself as the top 1/2 blueliners on the Bruins. In fact, one can now make a solid discussion/argument that, being paired with the towering Zdeno Chara, the B’s may in fact have the best 1-2 shutdown defense pairings in the entire NHL.
Chiarelli once described Seidenberg as a ‘bull’, and head coach Claude Julien referred to the defenseman as a ‘horse’ for the amount of time on ice and all-star-like effort and play during the 2010-11 NHL playoffs. The 6-foot-1 Seidenberg was just simply a tank in the playoffs. He topped the NHL charts with over 690 minutes of total ice time played and 74 blocked shots, and his 57 hits were fifth among all defensemen.
As we go down the list of players, we often say to ourselves, “the B’s wouldn’t have won without him” as we think of each member of this Stanley Cup winning team. But as we look at No. 44, and how big he stepped up in that no. 1/2 role, the Bruins would have been toast without Seidenberg.
Final grade: A