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Bruins might hold Adam McQuaid out through Christmas break

12.18.13 at 2:21 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid continues to progress as he works his way back from a reaggravation of a lower-body injury, but the B’s might wait until after Christmas to get him back into their lineup as a means of giving him a few extra days.

The Bruins have three games before Christmas, with their last game before the holiday next Monday in Nashville. They won’t pick up their schedule until next Friday at home against the Senators

McQuaid will not play Thursday against the Sabres, so by holding him out two more games, the Bruins will allow McQuaid to stay out of game action an extra three days during the break without actually missing any games in that span.

“It might end up like that,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday. “So, we have three games left. We’ll see how it goes, but that might be the decision.”

McQuaid, who has missed the Bruins’ last seven games, has been skating since last Wednesday and skating with his teammates since Monday. He isn’t sure if he needs to wait too much longer before getting back into the lineup, but he knows he isn’t ready now.

“I think it’s just about when I’m ready I’ll be ready kind of thing,” he said. “Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later. ‘€¦ Each day I do a little more and it’s just how I react to it. Hopefully it will continue to be positive and I can get back playing soon.”

McQuaid initially missed eight games after suffering his injury on Nov. 7 against the Maple Leafs. He returned to the lineup on Nov. 27 but saw the same injury pop up in just his third game back. Given that, he has said it might be worth it to be extra careful with coming back again.

The 27-year-old did say that he is noticing progress each day as he skates, noting that he’s noticed a difference from Monday, his first practice with teammates, to Wednesday.

“Yeah, I do,” he said. “Especially today, I felt pretty good. I feel good about that. It’s been tough to be patient with this, but I know that it’s the right thing and that it will help me in the long run.”

With McQuaid still out and Kevan Miller being sent back to Providence Wednesday, David Warsofsky will play Thursday.

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Loui Eriksson still dealing with concussion symptoms

12.18.13 at 1:57 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins forward Loui Eriksson is still experiencing concussion symptoms, according to general manager Peter Chiarelli. Eriksson was at TD Garden Tuesday morning but doesn’t seem close to a return.

Given that it’s Eriksson’s second concussion of the season, the B’s aren’t in any position to rush him back, either.

“We’re careful with that,” Chiarelli said of Eriksson’s situation. “I talked to Loui a little bit yesterday. He’s coming along, but he’s still experiencing some symptoms. With that type of injury, you see slow improvement, and that’s what Loui’s going through, so I don’t know what the time period would be.”

Eriksson was concussed on a hit from Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7 and has been out for the last five contests. He was previously concussed on a hit from Sabres forward John Scott on Oct. 23 and missed five games.

In 25 games this season, Eriksson has five goals and nine assists for 14 points.

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Peter Chiarelli spoke to Brad Marchand following Stanley Cup taunts vs. Canucks

12.18.13 at 1:39 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand was spoken to by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli after taunting the Canucks in Saturday’s game in Vancouver.

Marchand took his glove off and kissed his ring finger in the second period and also raised an imaginary Stanley Cup during warmups and after a third-period scrum. B’s coach Claude Julien called the actions unacceptable after the game, while Chiarelli addressed it with the player.

“I talked to Brad and that’s all I’ll say,” Chiarelli said. “I wasn’t happy with it, but he understands.”

Marchand has struggled this season, scoring only five goals through the first 34 games of the season. He’s well off his pace of seasons past, as he scored 28 goals in the 2011-12 season.

“He’s a young player still and sometimes you have those seasons,” Chiarelli said. “He’s fought the puck a little bit, he’s been kind of at wit’s end. You can see the level of frustration. I go back over his last six or seven games and I’ve liked his play. He’s getting his legs back and his hands back. It’s just about looking at it in an 82-game schedule and figuring it out over the course of the schedule and being patient. Maybe he showed little signs of impatience along the way, but I think his game’s coming around.”

Marchand threw a bad hit on Flames rookie forward Sean Monahan in Tuesday’s game, with Flames forward Curtis Glencross saying after the game that “he’s a dirty player.” Chiarelli didn’t take particular exception with the hit but did allow that the Bruins, in wake of Shawn Thornton‘s attack of Brooks Orpik, are more prone to criticism these days.

“I saw that hit, and it was a penalty,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t anticipate any disciplinary stuff. That stuff happens. We’re a physical team and that results in body contact maybe more so than a lot of other teams, so we’re under the microscope a little bit that way. Certainly you don’t like anything like what Shawn did, but you’re going to have altercations and [those are] going to happen.”

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Bruins forced to send Kevan Miller down; David Warsofsky recalled

12.18.13 at 1:22 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins had to make a tough move Wednesday, sending defenseman Kevan Miller back to Providence for the sake of making sure he remains in the organization.

Miller, who has been recalled twice for the B’s and has done well with the opportunity given to him, was about to play his 10th game, which would have meant the team would need to put him through waivers if they B’s tried sending him down later.

“We felt that Kevan would probably be a waiver pickup by somebody,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “We didn’t want to risk it, so I spoke to Kevan beforehand and he understood. I told him I felt good about his play up here, and probably the next time we bring him up will be for good.

“It’s kind of a cold business decision, but I first asked him, ‘Have you been counting games?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Do you know what game it is tomorrow night?’ He goes, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Well what do you think?’ He understood.”

With Miller back in Providence, the Bruins have recalled defenseman David Warsofksy. That will make for a rather different look for the B’s blueline, as Miller is a bigger, more physical defenseman while Warsofsky is an undersized offensive-minded blue liner.

“Kevan Miller was up, and he’s kind of cut in the mold of Adam McQuaid,” Chiarelli said. “A size/strength guy, right shot. Now you have a guy [in Warsofsky] who’s cut a little in the mold of Torey Krug, so we’ve maybe gone from one extreme to the other, but they all play the same defensive zone coverage in Providence, so you see a pretty seamless transition with these guys and I would expect the same for Warsofsky.”

Warsofsky, who is a Marshfield native and a product of Boston University, has two goals and 14 assists for 16 points in 26 games for Providence this season. The 5-foot-8, 170-pounder suffered an upper-body injury in Providence’s game Friday, but he was skating with the P-Bruins Wednesday and will be ready to go for the Bruins.

“He’s played very well,” Chiarelli said. “He’s a little undersized, but a very good skater, moves the puck well, and he’s had a real good year. He got dinged up a little on Friday, but he’s good to go.”

The Bruins also returned Craig Cunningham to Providence after he was recalled for Tuesday’s game on an emergency basis.

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Andy Brickley on M&M: Brad Marchand ‘overthinking it right now’

12.18.13 at 12:00 pm ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins and the most recent questionable play by Brad Marchand.

Marchand, the controversial B’s winger, was penalized two minutes for boarding after hitting Sean Monahan in Tuesday’s win over the Flames. Calgary‘s Curtis Glencross called it a “dirty hit” by a “dirty player.”

“Yeah, it’s a bad hit. He’s looking right at Monahan’s numbers,” Brickley said. “If you ask Brad, he’ll tell you he thought it was just a little forceful push and not heavy body contact. But it’s still on the numbers, on a guy that — he knew Marchand was there. When you watch the replay, he take a look over his left shoulder, which is the right thing to do for Monahan; you want to survey what’s going on around you. That puck’s not going anywhere, so you take a look to see what’s going on behind you and left and right and then make your play. So, he knew Marchand was right there, and Marchand decided to give him that little extra forearm shiver/push/hit, whatever you want to describe it.

“That’s a two-minute penalty for boarding. It’s a good call. It’s a bad penalty to take. It’s a bad timely penalty to take. And I just think it’s part of what’s going on with Marchand right now, that he’s trying to figure his game out and he’s overthinking it right now. He’s just got to go out and read and react, play the game. But the hard part for him is he needs to play on the edge in order to be the most effective player he can.”

Regarding the possibility of benching Marchand, Brickley said that’s not likely considering the number of injuries among the team.

“They’re just so short on numbers right now; what are their options?” Brickley said. “If they wanted to reduce his ice time, if they wanted to — like they did with Milan Lucic late in the year last year, make him a healthy scratch so he gets up on [TD Garden Level] 9 and takes a look at things and realizes there’s a lot more he could be doing.

“One of the things that jump out at you when you watch Marchand play, when he’s playing well — and it could be at any time during the game, he could have six, seven real good shifts in the course of a 20-shift night where he’s really, really effective, and he’s using his feet, and he’s skating, he attacks the offensive zone, he backs the D off then he curls up and he looks for a guy coming late. But what he’s doing right now, even when he makes a good play, he stops skating. And when you stop skating, that tells you you’re overthinking it. And when you start to overthink it, now you just don’t play the game in rhythm and you just don’t do things naturally.

“And I think that’s what they’re trying to educate him on and remind him of, that’s the way you need to play. Because when you get into that no-man’s land, you’re not the player you’re going to be. But what are your options in order to get that message across? Right now, because they are just so shorthanded, they need Brad Marchand and they need him to play to his capabilities or somewhere close to that in order to be effective. Because they need to win and they need to put up points.
And he’s still probably your best option, even though you might want to try to do something else to get further attention.”

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Zdeno Chara doesn’t really step up; he just continues to be great

12.17.13 at 11:22 pm ET
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It’s rare that Zdeno Chara doesn’t step up, which is why it wouldn’t really be fair to say he “stepped up” in the Bruins’ 2-0 win over the Flames on Tuesday. But he did play one of his best games of the season, and not just because he registered his first two-goal game since May 4, 2011.

In fact, you could make the case that the two goals weren’t even the most impressive part of his game. They both came on the power play, an area where he’s been getting more and more comfortable all season. The first was a one-timer — he’s always had that. The second was a put-back from the top of the crease — he hasn’t been in that role on a regular basis until this year.

But only 1:56 of Chara’s 22:44 time on ice came on the power play. So what was Chara doing the rest of that time? He was dominating just as much as he dominated on the power play.

The Bruins had a plus-16 Corsi (even-strength shot attempts) with Chara on the ice Tuesday, marking a season best for the Bruins captain. The Flames attempted just six shots with Chara on the ice (also a season best), and only three of them were actually on goal.

After an embarrassing 6-2 loss to Vancouver on Saturday, it was exactly the kind of performance you’d want from your captain. But again, it would be a disservice to Chara to suggest this was some sort of personal turnaround. Read the rest of this entry »

Curtis Glencross on Brad Marchand: ‘He’s a dirty player’

12.17.13 at 10:22 pm ET
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Flames forward Curtis Glencross had a pretty black-and-white assessment of Brad Marchand‘s hit on Flames rookie forward Sean Monahan.

“It’s dirty,” Glencross told “He’s a dirty player.”

Monahan had turned and had his numbers to Marchand behind the Flames net when the Bruins’ forward hit him into the boards from behind. Marchand was assessed a two-minute boarding minor for the hit and was immediately chased down by Glencross in defense of his teammate.

“We’ve seen it from him how many times a year from him?” Glencross added. “It’s a dirty hit.

“You try not to worry about guys like that, but we’re trying to get those hits out of the game. It’s a dirty hit.”

Marchand was not made available to the media after the game, a 2-0 Bruins win. B’s captain Zdeno Chara said he did not see the hit, but that he knows the team needs to be alert with not making bad decisions.

“We’re aware of what’s going on, not just with our team,” Chara said. “Throughout the league there’s always names coming up for hearings and suspensions, but you are aware of it, but we try to really focus on the games. Speaking for myself, I’m always trying to focus on the game and not what is going on away from it.”

Bruins coach Claude Julien said the hit wasn’t worse than the call it was given on the ice.

“I look at that hit and it’€™s a two-minute penalty,” Julien said, “and I don’€™t think he was going in there looking to injure the guy. He was going to hit and the guy turned and how he got him deserved a two-minute penalty, but that’€™s as much as it is.

“I don’€™t want us to start thinking that everything Brad does is bad. It’€™s a two minute like a lot of other two minutes — not any worse than all the high sticks our guys took to the face tonight. He took the two minutes, went to the box and served it.”

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