|Desperate Capitals stand in Bruins’ way of clinching playoff spot||03.29.12 at 12:46 pm ET|
At this point of the season, it’s somewhat of a cliche to say that every game will have a “playoff intensity,” but when you look at the Bruins’ remaining schedule, you can understand why.
Of the Bruins’ remaining six games, only Saturday’s tilt with the Islanders is against an opponent not in or fighting for the playoffs. Some teams, like the Bruins themselves, will be looking to nail down their divisions, while other teams such as the Capitals, will be trying to squeeze into the postseason picture.
That’s why Thursday’s game between the B’s and Capitals should be worth the price of admission. With a victory, the Bruins will clinch a playoff spot, while the ninth-place Capitals would take over eighth place in the conference with a win Thursday.
“Every single team in the league, they’re playing playoff hockey right now,” David Krejci said after Thursday’s morning skate. “It’s a good preparation, that’s for sure, but there’s so much to play for right now. We’re battling for home ice advantage, for second place in our conference, and Washington is battling for a playoff spot, so it should be a really interesting game tonight.”
The Capitals, who are coming off a 5-1 loss to the very Sabres team they’re fighting for the eighth spot with, will have to bring the fire they lacked Tuesday against Buffalo. Washington is still playing without center Nicklas Backstrom, who is working his way back from a concussion, but given their situation and the fact that the Capitals have taken two of three meetings between the teams so far this season, the Bruins see enough talent and desperation to make Thursday’s opponent a tough one.
“They’re battling for a playoff spot right now, and we’re going to obviously expect their best,” Adam McQuaid said. “They’ve played us hard this year, and even without Backstrom, they have a lot of offensive firepower. We’ve got to make sure we’re on our toes.”
As for the Bruins’ situation, the team knows that it needs a pair of points to go in, but their main focus is continuing to build on their improved play of late. The team has won three games in a row, something they hadn’t done over their previous 41 games, but playing well for the remainder of the season and going to the playoffs confident is more important to them than clinching a spot a spot and feeling accomplished.
“It would be nice, but I think our main focus is on playing well and making sure that we’re being consistent and going into the playoffs feeling good about ourselves and about our game,” McQuaid said of clinching. “I guess it would be a bonus to be able to clinch as soon as possible, but at the end of the day, we just have to worry about playing good hockey.”
Added McQuaid: “It’s only the beginning of where we want to get to. You have to make the playoffs in order to give yourself a chance to win the Cup. ‘¦ [We can] get that first step, and then shift our focus to what we’re really working towards.”
|Adam McQuaid feeling better, expected to be in Bruins’ lineup vs. Hurricanes||02.02.12 at 11:55 am ET|
After missing Wednesday’s practice with a lower-body injury, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was on the ice for Thursday’s morning skate and hopes to play Thursday night against the Hurricanes at TD Garden.
“I felt good this morning,” McQuaid said after the skate. “I’m not sure exactly if there’s been a decision made, but I felt good this morning.”
Said coach Claude Julien: “As far as we know, he should be ready to go, but we’ll probably leave it at game-time decision. He looked good this morning, and we anticipate he’s going to play.”
McQuaid caught his skate in a rut late in the third period against the Senators on Tuesday, and said that though a part of him was concerned he may have suffered something more severe, he’s feeling better now.
“There’s always a little bit of that concern,” McQuaid said. “You’re not sure how your body will react to different things, but I’m pretty happy with how I felt today.”
McQuaid will also see the return of his defense partner in Andrew Ference, who will return from a three-game suspension Thursday night.
|Adam McQuaid missing from Bruins practice||02.01.12 at 11:59 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was not on the ice as the team returned to practice Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena.
McQuaid played 14:39 in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Senators Tuesday, but suffered a lower-body injury after catching a rut late in the third period.
Coach Claude Julien said that McQuaid came back to the bench “a little shaken up” after the play. The team hopes McQuaid can return to the ice Thursday against the Hurricanes, but it seems the defenseman’s status is up in the air.
“He got injured last night, so we just felt that it was better to keep him off the ice today,” Julien said after Wednesday’s practice. “We’ll reevaluate his situation tomorrow morning.”
The Bruins will be getting defenseman Andrew Ference back from a three-game suspension Thursday, so in the event that McQuaid is unable to go, the B’s would not need to call a defenseman up from Providence. In 42 games this season, the 25-year-old blueliner has two goals and five assists for seven points and a plus-16 rating.
Nathan Horton (concussion) was the only other player missing from practice.
|Report: Adam McQuaid won’t be suspended||12.15.11 at 3:07 pm ET|
According to a tweet from Nick Kypreos, Bruins forward Adam McQuaid will not face further discipline for his dangerous play Wednesday night in Ottawa.
McQuaid extended his left leg and kneed Senators forward Nick Foligno late in the second period in the Bruins’ 5-2 win over the Senators. He was given a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct.
The Bruins’ defenseman has not been suspended in his three years in the NHL.
For those wondering whether or not Adam McQuaid‘s hit on Nick Foligno Wednesday night will get him suspended, here’s what happened to Kevin Porter — who, like McQuaid, was a first-time offender — last week (video courtesy of the NHL):
Here’s video of the McQuaid play:
McQuaid isn’t a dirty player, but that might not help him here. Read more about the situation here.
|Adam McQuaid not feeling Blue since Jackets traded him||11.17.11 at 12:57 pm ET|
Adam McQuaid never got to play for the team that drafted him, but all things considered, he doesn’t mind it.
McQuaid, a second-round pick of the Blue Jackets (55th overall) in 2005, was still playing junior hockey for the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL when he was traded to the Bruins for a fifth-round draft pick on May 16, 2007.
From the moment he was drafted, McQuaid was able to add a jersey to his NHL dream. He saw himself one day manning the blue line for Columbus, but it was not be.
“Obviously, you hope the team that you get drafted by, you envision yourself being with that team,” McQuaid said after Thursday’s morning skate. “You go to camp, and you go back to junior, your mindset is on eventually someday playing with that team. Probably a little disappointed, but at the same time, it’s pretty hard to be disappointed when you come to a team like Boston, and you think about how there’s so much history in the organization. That was probably the biggest difference between the two at the time.”
McQuaid said he wasn’t necessarily upset when he was traded, but that it was something he didn’t see coming.
“More surprised than anything. I never really gave it a thought,” he said. “My whole focus was on someday playing with the Blue Jackets. Trades happen. Everyone knows that’s the business side of the game. As soon as the trade happens, you shift the focus to a new organization. I was pretty happy with where I ended up going.”
“Pretty happy” eventually became “really happy” for McQuaid. After spending two seasons developing in Providence, McQuaid began getting opportunities in the NHL with the Bruins in the 2009-10 season. He then played 67 regular season games for the B’s in 2010-11, cementing his place on the squad and winning the Stanley Cup with the team in June.
“I kind of always look at things as ‘everything happens for a reason'” McQuaid said. “Coming to Boston, they helped developed me and worked with me on my skating, puck skills, the areas that I needed to work on in order to make it to this level. Looking back, I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out.”
|Adam McQuaid leaves early; maintenance days for Rich Peverley, Dennis Seidenberg||11.02.11 at 2:15 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and forward Rich Peverley were the only two to not take the ice for Wednesday’s practice at TD Garden, with Claude Julien saying afterward that he had given the two players maintenance days.
Adam McQuaid, meanwhile, left the practice early after he was cut on the chin, but there didn’t seem to be much concern from Julien’s end.
Aside from Peverley being out, the forward lines were the same.
Benoit Pouliot – Chris Kelly – Jordan Caron
Also, if you have access to today’s Globe or Bostonglobe.com, you have to check out Fluto Shinzawa’s story on how being a sportswriter furthers his conquests as a foodie. A great, off-beat read from one of the best in the business. Significantly better than my attempt.