BRIGHTON, Mass. – Adam McQuaid was among a number of Bruins players missing from practice on Friday and is “day-to-day” according to Claude Julien with what he light-heartedly termed as a “middle body” injury.
There doesn’t seem to be a specific incident where McQuaid sustained the injury and he was last spotted skating with the rest of his B’s teammates on Wednesday morning following their preseason loss to Montreal.
“He’s still day-to-day. It’s the same as what we said with Kevan Miller, and he was back on the ice [practicing]. He’s improving,” said Julien of Miller, who missed the last few days of practice after taking a shot off the knee in Tuesday night’s loss to Montreal. “I don’t think the injuries matter right now. It’s about making the decisions that we have to make according to what we’re looking for. I know there’s only one game left, and there’s no doubt we’re getting closer to our team. But we’re still evaluating what we want to evaluate.”
Veteran Joe Morrow likewise wasn’t with the large early practice group that included Christian Ehrhoff and young players Brandon Carlo and Robbie O’Gara. Morrow may be sliding down the organizational depth chart a bit.
The 29-year-old McQuaid has only managed to play more than 70 games once in a season as he enters the eighth year of his career and an injury might not be the worst thing for a Bruins team still sorting through their defensemen situation.
Both Carlo and O’Gara have been excellent as young candidates vying for jobs in training camp and are pushing hard for some tough decisions within the B’s organization that might need to create room through a trade or waivers. Even if both Carlo and O’Gara start the year in Providence, the sense is that they won’t be there very long. That was supported by the 19-year-old skating on a pairing with Zdeno Chara at Friday’s practice.
“I got some really good reports [on Carlo] when he went to Providence last year,” said Julien. “The things that make a defenseman successful in this league that you don’t always have when you come into the league: good stick, good positioning and he moves well. But at the same time does his experience, or lack of it, catch up to him? We still don’t have the full answer on that, but we want to have a good look to see where we stand.
“I thought he was really good [Thursday in Columbus]. He was solid and I really liked his game. His still here and we’ve got a lot of D’s still here as you saw this morning. We have eight [defensemen] for the purpose of practice, and we still have some in the second [practice] group. But of that eight, we have to pick six for [the preseason finale] and take a look at that situation.”
Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Friday’s camp session at Warrior Ice Arena with one more preseason tilt on Saturday afternoon vs. the Flyers at TD Garden: