Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg returned to practice yesterday, giving Bruins fans everywhere for some hope for a healthier team the rest of this Spring. The Paille news is more important, as he stands a good chance of actually playing tomorrow night.
Paille’s return would be huge if Danny Briere actually does play on the 4th line, because they Bruins would be able to match the speed on the 4th line that Briere would give the Habs. Of course, this isn’t 2010 Danny Briere, but it’s still pretty good to have him on the 4th line.
The individual players of the Merlot Line really do seem to play better when the full unit is intact, and it’s the typical “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” kinda thing. It’s dumb that people keep overrating them so much, because the line just isn’t what it was in 2011, especially Shawn Thornton. That being said, especially with Paille, who could easily play on the 3rd line for most teams, the full Merlot Line isn’t as bad as a lot of advanced stats guys have been suggesting this year.
Because Chris Kelly still isn’t practicing (think he might be dead), that means that either Florek or Caron will have to continue playing. I hope for Florek, because he actually held his own in the first round. Granted, Caron didn’t play terribly (except for Game 1), which means that he beat the incredibly low expectations that we all had for him. But considering that Florek took some of Caron’s ice time on the PK, there really is no reason to have Caron in the lineup at all. He just isn’t that good at hockey, even though he seemed mildly OK in this series.
Seidenberg is also practicing, which can only be described as “intriguing.” Would the B’s bring him back? Better yet, when could they? When they’re up like 2 games in a series? But would he really be better than their 5th-7th defensemen? The B’s aren’t great on the blue line, but there’s no one clear weak link that Seidenberg could just fill in for. We’ll see how this plays out.