Seidenberg says he was ready to play

BOSTON -- Had the Boston Bruins advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said he expected to return to the lineup.

“It would’ve been a good chance if we had played next round,” Seidenberg said. “Too bad it didn’t happen. I think we did everything in our power to try to get back.”

Seidenberg tore both his MCL and ACL in his right knee on Dec. 27 and had surgery on Jan. 7, and was originally told he would miss the entire season. He said Friday morning during the team’s exit day that he knew he would be able to return had the Bruins advanced deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Right from the beginning I thought, even though they told me six to eight months, I know people who have come back in shorter periods of time, so I told myself, ‘Why not. I’ll try my best and see where it takes me,' " Seidenberg said.

Seidenberg began skating five weeks ago and was cleared for contact last week. If he returned to the lineup sooner than expected, he was not worried about long-term effects. He did admit Friday that he’s still feeling some discomfort.

“It was definitely strong enough,” Seidenberg said. “If something would have happened, it would’ve been another freak thing. Once you start playing you focus on the game and try not to think about it, which is a tough thing and in a situation like that it’s very doable and you just play.”

The Bruins struggled defensively against the Canadiens due to Boston’s inexperience on the blue line. Still, Seidenberg said he felt no pressure to return.

“There’s obviously pressure to perform because you don’t want to come back and be a liability, you want come back and try to be at your best, but there was no pressure whatsoever," he said. "It was all about being smart about returning and also being cautious in regards to my future.”

Watching the Bruins’ promising season come to a premature end was tough to watch for Seidenberg.

“It’s terrible,” he said. “It’s very annoying. You feel out of place. It’s uncomfortable and it’s not fun watching.”

He’ll continue his rehab throughout the summer and expects to be 100 percent once training camp arrives in September. He’s also confident that there won't be a drop-off in his play.

"I’ll be better,” he said.