Adam McQuaid

McQuaid makes impact in return to B's lineup after lengthy absence

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McQuaid makes impact in return to B's lineup after lengthy absence

BOSTON – Adam McQuaid had to wait months to get healthy and weeks to finally push back into the lineup once he was over his broken leg, but that was all in the rear-view mirror when he made his return to the B’s lineup on Wednesday night. McQuaid was his solid, simple self on the ice in Boston’s 4-1 humbling of the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden, and immediately made an impact with his size, strength, physicality and penalty killing in the win.

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Afterward McQuaid was happy with the plus-1 rating in 15:12 of ice time while working mostly with rookie Matt Grzelcyk, and he even managed to get four pucks on net while playing assertive, aggressive hockey in the O-Zone. All in all it was a strong return after missing the past 36 games with a broken leg, and it was a much needed dose of again feeling like he’s a part of the team for the selfless, hard-working McQuaid.  

“I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just went with the first shift and then the second, and just went down from there. I wanted to try to keep things really simple, Grizz [Matt Grzelcyk] made life pretty easy to play with…he played really well,” said McQuaid. “All the guys did, so it was nice to be back and be a part of the win, I’m happy to be back.

“It’s nice to be in those situations – you don’t want to be – to be put in that situation. I think guys thrive off of wanting to kill that and be in those situations. Even though I was a little winded at the end of it, it was a good feeling for sure.”

The part that winded McQuaid was killing off a key 5-on-3 Canadiens power play in a tight, one goal game in the second period. McQuaid was second only to Zdeno Chara with his 1:34 of shorthanded ice time in the win over the Bruins, and the PK is clearly a situation where the rich get richer when the shot-blocking, rugged McQuaid draws back into the fold with Kevan Miller “under the weather” this week. 

“We did a good job, real good job [on the penalty kill]. It doesn’t surprise me,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Adam [McQuaid] is very good on the kill. We’ve said that all along, that’s one area we miss when he is out of the lineup.”

Now McQuaid will continue knocking any residual rust off by again drawing into Boston’s lineup on Thursday night in Brooklyn as Miller was left behind in Boston, and a respected B’s veteran is finally getting some run after a long wait. 

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McQuaid expected to return for first time since October tonight

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McQuaid expected to return for first time since October tonight

BRIGHTON, Mass – After waiting weeks for it to happen, it looks as if Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid is going to draw back in for the Bruins.

The veteran defenseman has been healthy since right around Christmastime after recovering from a broken leg suffered blocking a shot back in October, but McQuaid hadn’t been able to bust back into a lineup that’s been winning games. Now, B’s defenseman Kevan Miller has missed back-to-back practices while feeling “under the weather” and coach Bruce Cassidy termed him “doubtful” for tonight’s home game against the Montreal Canadiens.

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“Kevin Miller is still feeling under the weather, so he’s very doubtful for tonight. I don’t want to completely rule him out, but it doesn’t look good,” said Cassidy. “Adam would be in [if Miller doesn’t play] and it’s looking that way, but let’s give it a few hours. There’s going to be rust. It’s inevitable. We understand that, so we just need to allow him to be himself and play. We’ll expect he’ll want to get rid of the puck quickly based on the limited reps he’s had, but the part of the game he gets back quickly is hopefully his strength.”

So, McQuaid is expected to play for the first time since Oct. 19 in a pairing with rookie Matt Grzelcyk and is excited to lace them up again after a long wait biding his time as a veteran coming back from injury.

“It’s not a regular game because I’ve missed so much time, but it’s probably [a feeling of] excitement more than anything,” said McQuaid, who has an assist and a minus-3 in six games this season. “It probably goes without saying [that you want to play], but it’s been good to watch how the guys have come together. You really feel that off the ice and during practice days and stuff, so hopefully I’ll have a chance to feel that in a game. It will be nice to back on the bench and hopefully add to this run that the guys have been on.”

It won’t be easy for McQuaid dropping right into an emotional Bruins-Canadiens game that’s also Claude Julien’s first game back at TD Garden since getting fired last season. Clearly, he’ll be trying to keep it simple when McQuaid might naturally start trying to do whatever it takes to stay in the regular lineup, but a veteran defenseman knows it’s really all about doing what it takes for the win.

“I’m just going to go out and play, play simple and not overthink things. You let everything else take care of itself and you focus on playing,” said McQuaid, who has missed a span of 36 games headed into tonight.

With McQuaid expected to return, here are the projected line combinations and D-pairings based on an optional morning skate on Wednesday at Warrior Ice Arena:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Spooner

Heinen-Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari


Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

 
Rask

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B's keep winning, McQuaid still waiting for his chance

B's keep winning, McQuaid still waiting for his chance

With the Bruins amidst a season-high 12-game point streak where they’ve put together a 9-0-3 record punctuated by a shootout win over the rival Montreal Canadiens last weekend, there isn’t going to be a push for big changes. Actually there isn’t going to be a push for any changes at this point when it comes to the Black and Gold.

MORE - Cassidy shows why he's the one behind B's bench

So Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid sits and waits for his chance to get back into a red-hot lineup for the first time since getting healthy right before the Christmas holiday. At this point McQuaid has been sitting for weeks while watching The Bruins pairings are truly gelling together with 24-year-old Matt Grzelcyk locking down the bottom B’s pairing with Kevan Miller, and good health abounding on Boston’s back end. 

The bottom line is that there’s no spot open right now for a big, strong D-man that’s limited with his puck-moving and offense, but his size, strength and toughness will be a welcome addition when No. 54 does finally get in on some game action. 

That continued at Sunday’s Bruins practice at Warrior Ice Arena with a full, healthy group on the ice, and McQuaid once again expected to sit out for Monday afternoon’s home matinee against the Dallas Stars. It certainly hasn’t been easy for McQuaid chomping at the bit to play, and likewise it’s been difficult for Bruce Cassidy to keep a trusted, tough defensive warrior on the sidelines. 

“Right now it’s game-to-game. We’ve talked about maybe going with 7 defensemen, but we haven’t gone down that road since maybe the Tampa game” said Cassidy of McQuaid, who hasn’t played since the middle of October after breaking his leg blocking a shot in a win over the Vancouver Canucks. “We like where our group is right now and we like where our whole team is. It’s just a really tough circumstance when things are going really well. 

“I’d be the first to move people around and move pieces around if I thought it would make us a better team, but right now we’re going pretty well. It’s a long year and [McQuaid] will get his chance. He’s earned that right. He’s been a great character guy working hard even though he’s not in the lineup right now, so I’m sure when he gets back in he’ll do a terrific job for us.”

The good news for McQuaid is that he’s going to get his chance with the Bruins as a dense second half schedule is very likely to chew away at the health of Boston’s entire roster. Until that happens McQuaid will bide his time, continue working as hard as he possibly can to draw back in for the Bruins and do his best to live up to the level of high quality play that Boston’s defense corps has been working at over the last couple of months.   

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