Bruins

McQuaid improving, skating in limited capacity

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McQuaid improving, skating in limited capacity

Things continue to return back to normal for Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid.

The Bs defenseman, who is recovering from multiple blood clot surgeries on his arm, has been skating regularly with the rest of the local NHL players over the last few weeks with a trip home to Prince Edward Island for the holidays sandwiched in between.

On Thursday McQuaid was skating locally with NHL locals Shawn Thornton, Tuukka Rask, Keith Yandle, Ryan Whitney, Brian Boyle and Jay Pandalfo among other out-of-work hockey players.

Hes also graduated from skating on his own at one end of the rink to getting involved in games of shinny with the rest of the players and even snapping off a shot while the players are running through drills. Thats a long way from the multiple surgeries needed three months ago, and thats a very good thing.

Between those skating sessions and daily physical therapy McQuaid is feeling better every day, and getting more hopeful that hell be able to return at some point this season.

You just try something new every day and see how it feels, and so far its all been pretty good, said McQuaid. Its about working on my strength and getting my legs back because I was off the ice for so long. But things have been pretty good so far.

It doesnt appear that it will be when the NHL season is expected to open on Jan. 19 and it might not even be February when most normal people would be close to fully recovered from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. But McQuaid is off the blood thinner medication when it was originally thought he might be on it for a six-month period that would have kept him out of NHL action -- and building back up his upper body strength.

Its obvious that McQuaid is well down from his playing weight last season, and will need to keep building strength as his NHL game is based on being able to take hits and dole them out all at the same time.

In the meantime the Bruins will need to get along with new defenseman Aaron Johnson along with a host of hopefuls from Providence. None will be able to replace McQuaids intimidation factor in the interim, or his solid defensive capabilities in his own end.

But McQuaid is talking about when rather than if for a potential return to the lineup, and thats a very good thing.

Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men

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Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while prepping for Claude Bowl II.

*It’s going to be a robust trade market for defensemen with names such as Jack Johnson, Dion Phaneuf and Oliver Ekman-Larsson highlighting the group that’s available. Paul Martin will be in that select company if he clears through waivers and perhaps Niklas Hjalmarsson will as well with many teams holding D-men they’re willing to part with.

*The Buffalo Sabres apparently want four assets in any deal for rental Evander Kane that includes a draft pick, a prospect and an NHL roster player, and it’s hard to believe anybody is going to do that for a perennial underachiever who's never even scored 60 points in a season before.

*A tough end to the Andrew Cogliano iron-man streak as he’s been suspended for a couple of games after an incident last weekend.

*Brent Burns is the envy of many blueliners around the league because of his hard, accurate shot, which isn’t scoring him as many goals this season

*Year-round Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland has been rewarded for being a member of the Golden Knights with a one-year contract extension.

*It sounds like the Philadelphia Flyers have got Shayne Gostisbehere thinking more about defense after some up-and-down moments last season in his sophomore effort.

*For something completely different: A profile on a UFC champion and a firefighter all at the same time. Sounds like an interesting dude.


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Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury

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Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – Noel Acciari was in and out of the Bruins lineup in the Monday afternoon loss to the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury and the fourth-line grinder was missing from the practice ice on Tuesday as well. 

Acciari has been able to stay healthy the past few months while helping to establish Boston’s fourth line and has added to his hard-hitting style of play with six goals in 28 games this season.

But there's been a litany of injuries the past few seasons given the physical pounding the 5-foot-10, 208-pounder takes given his rugged style of play. This current injury limited him to just 6:05 of ice time in an overtime loss to the Stars. Still, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was optimistic that Acciari would be able to suit up against the Canadiens on Wednesday night in Claude Julien’s return to TD Garden.

“Jake DeBrusk was under the weather and so was Kevan Miller, so they stayed home,” said Cassidy of Acciari, who has missed 14 games this season mainly due to a broken finger suffered blocking a shot on opening night. “Noel Acciari has a bit of an upper-body injury and it affected his minutes [Monday vs. Dallas]. He’s kind of day-to-day. I suspect that he would play tomorrow, but we’ll have a better idea on [Wednesday] morning.”

Both DeBrusk and Miller are expected to be fine to play against the Habs in their rematch from last weekend this time on Boston's home ice. Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the players that were on the ice for Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Krejci-Spooner

Heinen-Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Vatrano

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Postma-McQuaid

 

Rask

Khudobin

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE