One of the more interesting storylines of the Rangers/Bruins series will be the return of Wade Redden. The veteran defenseman, who the Rangers gave a 6-year, $39 million contract in 2008 and then bought out using a new amnesty clause in January, signed with the Blues before the start of the season and was then traded to the Bruins at the trade deadline.
However, Redden is one of three Bruins defensmen who missed Game 7 (he also sat out Game 5) because of injury. While the nature of the ailment has not been released (who's coaching that team Torts?) it is speculated that Redden might not be ready for tomorrow's Game 1 in Boston.
Andrew Ference (lower body) also missed Monday's epic 5-4 overtime win over the Maple Leafs in Game 7, and Dennis Seidenberg (undisclosed injury) was able to play only 37 seconds. They are both questionable for tomorrow's game.
Redden finished the regular season with 3g, 4a in 29 regular season games with both the Blues and the Bruins.
Redden had a 1g, 1a in the first round of the playoffs against the Maple Leafs.
…while I was happy that Redden was given another chance, I have to wonder if he does play in this series and contributes to the Bruins eliminating the Rangers, does Sather deserve some criticism for literally paying (Rangers owed him $5.6 million this season) for this guy to beat his own team? Obviously, Sather didn't have to release him and in an ironic twist of fate, the Ranger GM's good deed could end up biting them in the end.
…beyond the Redden injury, the loss of three of the Bruins top six defensemen is a huge advantage for the Rangers as the Bruins will have to continue to rely on young inexperienced defensemen in this series.
Rookies Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton filled in due to the injuries in the Maple Leafs series, with Bartkowski getting a big goal in Game 7.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli discussed the rookies contributions (via ESPN.com)….
"I saw two really good performances in those young players, the two rookie players; that's another testament to coaching, that they were able to integrate these two guys amongst the five D core, in [Bartkowski] and Dougie."