COUNTDOWN TO CAMP: Adam McQuaid
Countdown to camp: Adam McQuaid
Adam McQuaid returns to the Bruins for his usual role as a stay-at-home defenseman ready to drop the gloves to defend him teammates, and the usual questions about his health.
What Happened Last Year
It was a solid season for McQuaid as he played in 77 regular-season games, chipped in two goals and 10 points along with a plus-4 rating and had the second-highest workload of his career playing 18:15 of ice time per game. McQuaid continued to be the guy on the B’s roster most likely to drop the gloves in order to protect teammates, and has become a protector of sorts for the skill guys on the roster. The 6-foot-5 D-man even showed a little more offensive aggressiveness under new coach Bruce Cassidy, and was among the many players that simply looked like they were having more fun under a new head coach. Unfortunately for McQuaid, the injury bug cropped up in the playoffs after a relatively healthy regular season and knocked him out for the bulk of the series against the Ottawa Senators. It was thought to be a concussion. McQuaid has endured a number of them in his rough-and-tumble career with the Black and Gold. All in all, it was a very good season for Darth Quaider.
Questions To Be Answered This Season
It’s always going to be the same questions at this point in McQuaid’s career. Can he stay healthy while playing the ultra-physical game he prefers as a slug it out, stay-at-home defenseman ready to drop the gloves when the moment calls for it? Is McQuaid better off as a bottom-pairing D-man playing fewer minutes where he can up the intensity and physicality while lowering the wear and tear on his body? There is a limited amount of offense and slick passing that you’re going to ever see from McQuaid, but he can be incredibly effective in the D-zone and on the penalty kill if he’s allowed to play to his strength paired with the right partner. The question that’s long been answered with McQuaid is that he’s a respected, well-liked and effective teammate that quietly goes about his business.
In Their Own Words
“You realize how fast time goes and how limited opportunities are. Every year, you never know what chances you’re going to come away with moving forward. That’s why you want to make the most of every year and every opportunity. I still feel like we’re a core group here and obviously, the [young] guys that are coming up, it’s exciting to see the future and guys that they’ve drafted that are making an impact, and are going to make an impact going forward. I think there are a lot of positives and I’m looking forward to [this upcoming season].” –Adam McQuaid, talking about the future for the Bruins after last season’s run to the playoffs.
It appears that McQuaid will settle back into a No. 5 or No. 6 role this season after being pushed into a top-four role the past couple of seasons. It could be exactly the kind of move that could allow the McQuaid, 30, to stay healthy and maximize his effectiveness while not being pushed into things he’s not best suited for. A move to a third pairing role for McQuaid would mean that the Bruins D-corps is returning to a strong, deep and quality group, and that he can focus his energies on his physical game, punishing opponents in the D-zone and killing penalties. A limited puck-mover in McQuaid playing against other team’s best offensive threats has never really been a good match for the Black and Gold. His size, strength and intensity level is certainly missed when he’s not out on the ice, as was the case in last spring’s playoff series, so remaining healthy will be of the highest priority. That’s tough to do when you play a blue-collar game like McQuaid, but that’s why he gets paid the (relatively) big bucks.