|10.25.10 at 1:37 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid has been a trooper for the Bruins, doing his work daily despite knowing that an injury to a teammate was likely the only thing that could get in him in the B’s lineup. McQuaid was a healthy scratch for the team’s first six games, but following the news that Johnny Boychuk will miss approximately a month with a fractured bone in his left forearm, the 24-year-old blueliner seems set to inherit quite a few games.
“I’m really excited. It’s not the way you want to get in, but I’m just trying to stay sharp in practice and injuries are part of the game,” McQuaid said after practice on Monday. “Chances were at some point in time, someone wasn’t going to be able to play, so I was just trying to stay prepared and be ready when I got the chance.”
McQuaid last played for the B’s in the preseason but has practiced with the team daily along with fellow healthy scratches Brian McGrattan and Daniel Paille, the latter of whom dressed in the season-opener in Prague.
So how does one keep themselves familiar with the speed of in-game scenarios when they’ve gone so long without seeing them? Much like Tuukka Rask said of his case during his recent start-less stretch, the name of the game is making the most of practice.
“Just [use] the game situation stuff in practice, that’s really all you can do,” McQuaid said. “Obviously it will be little bit different when I get out there, but I’ll just have to adjust.”
McQuaid skated in just 19 games last season and added nine more in the playoffs, something that he said was big for his development given the “intensity level.” He’s confident that he can make the most of this opportunity, and the Bruins believe he’s certainly capable of doing so.
“Every time he’s played for us, as far as I’m concerned, he’s never cost us,” Claude Julien said Monday. “It’s been simple and solid play, and we have confidence that he can step in and do the job.”
McQuaid, who had one assist over his 27 total games with the Bruins a season ago, knows that it’s only natural to expect a little rust when he takes the ice on Thursday against the Maple Leafs. He doesn’t expect it to last more than “one or two shifts,” as he feels he has managed to make the most of his time in practice.
The pairings in practice on Monday saw McQuaid teamed with Matt Hunwick on the third set of defensemen. Though he’s replacing Boychuk on the roster, he won’t let himself get too concerned with trying to replace a top-pairing defenseman.
“I’ve been itching to get in,” he said. “I haven’t gotten to play a regular-season game yet this year, so I’m looking forward to it. [Those are] big shoes to fill for Johnny, but hopefully I can just step in and fill somewhat of his shoes.”
|10.25.10 at 12:44 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Johnny Boychuk was expected to be the lone Bruin missing from the team’s Monday practice, so when Daniel Paille was sporting a white first-line jersey in place of an absent David Krejci, the team’s top center suddenly became the topic du jour at Ristuccia Arena.
The reason for Krejci’s absence? The removal of his wisdom teeth. Claude Julien called it a regular maintenance day for the center, so there’s no reason not to expect he’ll be back to skating with the team in short order and will be good to play when the B’s take on the Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
In six games this season, Krejci has a goal and six assists, good for seven points, a total that is second only to linemate Nathan Horton.
|10.25.10 at 11:40 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk was sporting a splint on his left forearm as he adressed the media during Bruins’ practice at Ristuccia Arena on Monday. The defenseman is expecting to get a cast shortly after learning on Sunday that he will be out for approximately four weeks with a fractured bone in his left forearm.
“It sucks, but that’s the way it has to be,” Boychuk said of the prognosis. He was slashed in the first period of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers by Brandon Dubinsky. He left the ice following the play but returned to finish the period before sitting the rest of the game.
“I just tried to suck it up,” Boychuk said. “I thought it was just a bruise or something like that on the wrist. I just put some tape on it and tried to put some tape on it and tried to finish the period.”
He noted that it was in his return to the ice that he knew something was wrong.
“There was one time when we were killing a penalty and I was in front,” Boychuck said. “I put my stick down and it was really sore and I was like, ‘Maybe I should get off,’ but I just killed the penalty and went to the bench.”
Boychuk actually ran into the man expected to step in for him in Adam McQuaid on Sunday at the movies. With Boychuk at the cinema to take in “Paranormal Activity 2,” a movie that Boychuk noted was terrifying, the two defensemen were able to chat about what the next four weeks will hold.
“I got to talk to [McQuaid] for a bit, and I know he’s going to do well. He always does,” Boychuk said. “I know he’s going to pick his game up, too.”
The 26-year-old said his plan is to keep in shape and keep a positive attitude in order to continue to have an impact on this Bruins team. Boychuk said he didn’t check the replay and therefore couldn’t tell whether or not he felt the slash was intentional.
|10.25.10 at 10:46 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins lost Johnny Boychuk for what they deem to be “approximately” four weeks after he suffered a fractured bone in his forearm on Saturday. Upon returning to practice on Monday, the team had yet to add another defenseman to the mix, with Matt Bartkowski seeming the natural option to get the call from Providence. Here were the defensive pairings in the early going.
Matt Hunwick – Adam McQuaid
David Krejci was also missing from practice. Daniel Paille wore the white jersey and centered Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton in his absence. Stay tuned for more from the locker room following practice.
|10.24.10 at 9:14 pm ET|
The Bruins announced on Sunday that defenseman Johnny Boychuk will be out for approximately four weeks after suffering a slight fracture to the ulna bone in his left forearm on Saturday.
Boychuk was slashed by the Rangers’ Brandon Dubinsky in the first period of the team’s 3-2 and went to the training room immediately thereafter. Though he returned to play in the first period, he did not play in the second or third periods.
The 26-year-old Boychuk, who signed a two-year extension with the Bruins over the summer, has three assists on the season. He has played alongside Zdeno Chara in the team’s top defensive pairing, and it’s uncertain whether Adam McQuaid, who has been a healthy scratch for each of the B’s six games this season is his definite replacement in the lineup. The Bruins cut Matt Bartkowski late in camp with the idea that the former Ohio State blueliner was best served in a situation in which he could get playing time, so he is also an obvious candidate to be in the mix. Through four games this season, Bartkowski has one point, an assist.
|10.24.10 at 12:50 am ET|
Two games, two losses, and quite a few flukey goals. That’s Tuukka Rask’s season in a nut shell.
The Bruins netminder allowed three goals in the Bruins’ 3-1 loss to the Rangers, the first two of which came in the flukiest of manners that, while the third came on a breakaway.
It’s a bit odd how reminiscent of the season-opener Saturday was as far as the bounces Rask got. The goaltender admitted that the first goal he allowed, an Artem Anisimov tally off a bouncing rebound that was nearly a high stick, had him in brief state of disbelief.
“You haven’t played [since Oct. 9] and then that happens, you’re like ‘holy [smokes],'” Rask admitted. “You can’t start thinking about that. You’ve got to keep the game tight and try to save the next one, but obviously it was a tough break.”
Rask made it clear in talking with reporters that for whichever of the many reasons — the time off, the lucky bounces, the team’s now semi-habit of underperforming in the earlygoing of games started by him — he was not going to make excuses. That didn’t stop his teammates from coming to his defense after the game.
“We kind of left him out to dry both times he’s been in net and haven’t gotten great starts and got down both times he was in net,” Milan Lucic said following the game. “You can’t say anything bad about his game tonight. He played well for us. He kept us in it. He kept it 3-2 the whole way, and he gave us a chance.”
The Bruins have scored at least three goals in each of the games started by Tim Thomas and have averaged 3.5 goals per Thomas start. The team has come out flat in each of Rask’s starts, and the offense they eventually muster hasn’t proven to be enough.
“It’s been tough,” Nathan Horton, who has three of the Bruins’ four goals in games started by Rask, said. “We’re probably not going to win the game [when it happens]. We know it’s going to be close, but we want to get more than two goals, hopefully. If not, we want to keep them to less than two. He’s played good, he’s made some good stops too, and we’ve just got to help him out a little bit more.”
|10.23.10 at 11:06 pm ET|
Here’s the video of Claude Julien’s press conference following the team’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night at the Garden.