Report cards: Seidenberg, McQuaid solid
Bruins report card -- No. 2 defense
Final grades are in for the 2011-2012 Boston Bruins. Here's the No. 2 defense pairing:
|PLAYER||SEASON AND PLAYOFF RECAP/GRADE|
While Seidenberg had a solid regular season with five goals and 18 assists in 80 games, he once again showed his worth in the playoff spotlight. He helped frustrate Capitals superstars Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, limiting their role in the series. Ovechkin had five points and Backstrom had four in the seven-game series, but their time and space were severely limited and they were not as effective as they could be. Seidenberg had a huge factor in the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup run; if some of his teammates followed suit this year, his performance could've helped them advance past the first round.
McQuaid isn't at the level of Seidenberg as a shutdown defenseman, but he is improving every season. If not for a late-season concussion that eventually kept him out of the playoffs and ended his season, McQuaid would have helped the Bruins' cause against Washington. He had only 10 points in 72 games, but McQuaid isn't afraid to drop 'em and throw his 6-foot-4, 197-pound frame around. The Bruins needed more of that against the gritty Capitals.
|PAIRING'S OVERALL GRADE|| |
As the season wore on, injuries left the Bruins with an assortment of pairings. But when the whole blue line was healthy and together, the tandem of Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid was a solid shutdown pair, with both providing a physical presence and Seidenberg providing some offensive flair. McQuaid is morphing into a solid option to provide physical yet legal intimidation as opposing players enter the Bruins' zone. Meanwhile, Seidenberg once again proved he is part of an elite group when it comes to that and keeping NHL superstars off the score sheet. This pairing is a viable option again next season if Claude Julien chooses to spread the wealth and not keep Seidenberg and Chara together all the time.
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Joe McDonald, a native Rhode Islander, joined ESPNBoston.com as a Bruins and Red Sox reporter in February 2010. He worked at the Providence Journal for 18 years and covered the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots, PawSox and Providence Bruins. He's a three-time winner of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association's state Sportswriter of the Year for Rhode Island. Ask a question in our next Bruins mailbag. Follow him on Twitter here.