Bruins

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

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bruins featured prominently on NBC national schedule

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File Photo

Bruins featured prominently on NBC national schedule

The Boston Bruins are coming off back-to-back playoff seasons, so they won’t be any strangers to the national television audience in the upcoming NHL season.

The Bruins are set to be on NBC or NBCSN 14 times in nationally televised games during the 2018-19 season including the Jan. 1 Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks at Notre Dame, and their Oct. 3 season opener against the reigning Cup champion Washington Capitals in DC. The 14 games are tied with the New York Rangers for the fifth-most in the NHL behind only the Blackhawks, Capitals, Flyers and Penguins.

The B’s season opener vs. the Caps will actually kick off NBC’s NHL coverage for the regular season, which is set to include a whopping 109 televised games.

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Other highlights from the NBC Networks broadcast schedule include a home game against the Atlantic Division rival Montreal Canadiens on Monday, January 14, a road game against the defending Western Conference Champion Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, February 20, and a home tilt on Thursday Feb. 28 against the Tampa Bay Lightning team that eliminated them in the playoffs.

Here’s the rest of the national television 2018-19 schedule for the Black and Gold that certainly has some games to circle on the ole hockey calendar:  

Bruins Games Broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports Network (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, October 3: Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, October 17: Boston Bruins at Calgary Flames, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN

Tuesday, January 1: Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks (Winter Classic), 1 p.m., NBC

Monday, January 14: Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, January 16: Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Sunday, February 3: Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals, 12:30 p.m., NBC

Wednesday, February 6: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers, 8 p.m., NBCSN

Tuesday, February 12: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m., NBCSN

Monday, February 18: Boston Bruins at San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, February 20: Boston Bruins at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m., NBCSN

Thursday, February 28: Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Sunday, March 10: Boston Bruins at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, March 27: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Sunday, March 31: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Morning Skate: Mikita's legacy extends beyond the ice

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Morning Skate: Mikita's legacy extends beyond the ice

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the fog officially rolled in this morning.  

*NBC Sports announced their 109-game schedule for the NHL season, and it all starts with the Bruins season opener on Oct. 3 against the Washington Capitals. The Wednesday Night Rivalry games will be done away with and in its place Wednesday Night Hockey is going to feature a more diverse collection of teams and locations featuring non-traditional markets. It’s a great idea and completely called for given the emergence of teams like the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights.

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Tracey Myers on the lasting legacy of the recently passed Chicago Blackhawks great Stan Mikita when it comes to his work in the community.

*Dylan Larkin got a pretty good deal from the Detroit Red Wings that was deserved given his youth and his production to this point. So why on Earth are we writing 1,000 word think pieces on this? Yeah, I don’t know either.

*Speaking of the Red Wings, it sounds like Henrik Zetterberg may be a giant question mark for this upcoming NHL season based on his health. While it’s a big blog to the Red Wings competitiveness for next season, it might be the best thing for a team that’s still nowhere near competing for a Stanley Cup at this point.

*Three big questions facing the Edmonton Oilers as they ready for a massive season that will undoubtedly have jobs on the line based on an expected return to the playoffs.

*For something completely different: Well, this is one way to discourage cruise ships from going by your coastal home.