Bruins

Bruins

From now until the beginning of training camp, Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2018-19 Bruins. Today: Adam McQuaid.
 
Adam McQuaid has been a part of the Bruins' core group since prior to the 2011 Stanley Cup championship season. He’s a warrior in the defensive zone willing to block shots and battle around the net, he’s a great teammate always willing to stand up and protect his fellow Bruins and he’s one of the toughest, most fearsome, dudes left in an NHL that’s slowly steering away from fighting. It remains to be seen how the 31-year-old defenseman fits into the picture this season, but it’s clear he’s still an important part of what the Bruins want to be in their goal to be a tough team to play against.  

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 What Happened Last Year: McQuaid played in only 38 games due to injuries but also plenty of healthy scratches along the way; on many nights during the regular season he didn’t fit into the high-paced offensive attack preached by Bruce Cassidy. But McQuaid played all 12 games during the postseason once Brandon Carlo went down with a leg injury. McQuaid had a workmanlike one goal and four points along with a minus-1 rating in his time in the lineup, and was the same D-zone warrior and stay-at-home presence that he’s consistently been throughout his career. McQuaid also registers as the most accomplished fighter the Bruins now have on their roster, which helps protect the rest of the players in the Boston lineup. It surely wasn’t a banner year in McQuaid’s eyes because he sat for long stretches of the regular season, but he was in the lineup when the games were most important. That says something. 
 
Questions To Be Answered This Season: The big question with McQuaid at this point is just how much he’s going to play this season, and how much longer he’ll remain a Bruin. It’s conceivable McQuaid could be the odd man out with eight NHL defensemen on the roster, and it’s also conceivable the Bruins could try to move him, given his salary cap hit and the focus on D-men of the puck-moving variety. Still, there’s a real danger in shipping out McQuaid considering how the B's were pushed around by Tampa Bay in the playoffs. There should be a place on the roster for a tough hombre like McQuaid, and he should get his fair share of playing time given the inevitable injuries that pop up on the back end throughout the regular season. Perhaps less gam's es played isn’t the worst thing in the world for McQuaid, who has endured his share of injuries over the course of his 462-game NHL career
 
In Their Words: “A lot of guys took good steps in the right direction. The future is certainly bright here for the team. It doesn't take away from the disappointing ending because we all felt like we had the opportunity to do something special. You don’t always have that, so hopefully, like I said, hopefully we’re building something here for the long run.” -- Adam McQuaid, on the prospects of a Bruins team on the rise after back-to-back playoff seasons.  
 
Overall Outlook: McQuaid is a known commodity at this point as a selfless, courageous competitor who's tough to play against and whom opponents legitimately fear because of his ability to bring the thunder physically. The 6-foot-4, 212-pounder has big-time playoff experience, has gone toe-to-toe with the toughest guys in the league and is a big part of the Bruins penalty kill when he’s healthy and playing on a regular basis. There will always be some offensive shortcomings to McQuaid’s game, because that’s simply not the type of player he is, but he's still a tough, gritty and valuable piece for a winning hockey team. The picture is crowded on the right side of Boston’s back end and that may mean a fair share of healthy scratches this season for McQuaid, but the Bruins also know they’re getting some good stuff when he’s in the lineup. 

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