BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are back to work after the three-day Christmas break, and to celebrate hockey being back there was a full house at morning skate Wednesday at Warrior Ice Arena.
While Adam McQuaid, David Krejci and Peter Cehlarik were all participants in the Bruins practice ahead of the divisional showdown against the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins will go with the same lineup that ostensibly won them four in a row headed into the holiday.
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Krejci and Cehlarik aren’t cleared to play just yet while they will be traveling with the team and McQuaid is healthy and ready to go but won’t be playing on Wednesday night against the Senators at TD Garden. Essentially, the Bruins don’t want to fix what isn’t broken as the B’s keep winning games and that means McQuaid might have to wait after sitting out the last two-plus months with a broken leg.
Certainly, that's a testament to how well Matt Grzelcyk has played in his absence and to Boston's lack of real concrete options on the left side with a surplus of right-shot D-men right now.
“He won’t play tonight,” said Cassidy of McQuaid. “Adam is healthy. We just decided to go with the same lineup that we had [headed into the break]. I said before that it’s about how the timelines intersect [for his return], so that’s what we’re going to do. Krejci and Cehlarik are skating, and they’ll be traveling [to Washington and Ottawa].”
“I think everybody enjoys a little time off during the holidays, but now it’s time to get back at it.
If one were to guess, McQuaid may end up making his return on Thursday night vs. the Capitals in Washington where his size, strength and snarl could go a long toward discouraging the Caps from pushing the Bruins around as they have recently.
Here are projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings tonight vs. the Ottawa Senators based on morning skate with Tuukka Rask between the pipes vs. the Atlantic Division rivals: