|Adam McQuaid still not skating; Claude Julien not ruling out defensive rotation in playoffs||04.05.14 at 4:46 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien said Saturday that he is not ruling out a rotation of defensemen going into the postseason.
Matt Bartkowski and Andrej Meszaros figure to be in the biggest positional battle for the left spot on the second pairing along Boychuk, and the two have taken turns playing that role in recent games. Bartkowski played with Boychuk in Saturday’s win over the Flyers, while Meszaros played with Torey Krug on the third pairing and struggled.
“It doesn’t have to be a set six,” Julien said. “It could be, and it could also be a rotation as long as everybody’s good enough to be in that rotation. So no, and I don’t see any rush for that decision to be made yet.”
The idea of a rotation is intriguing given that Bartkowski and Meszaros have both spent time in and out of the lineup this season and might be better prepared to avoid rust, though for consistency’s sake the B’s would be wise to nail down a steady second pairing that could continue the play they got from the Andrew Ference – Boychuk pairing of postseasons past.
Kevan Miller seems to have solidified a place in the postseason lineup, as he played 33 straight games for the B’s leading up to his day off Saturday. His competition would be a healthy Adam McQuaid, but Julien said prior to Saturday’s game that McQuaid, though getting better, still is not skating. McQuaid has been out since Jan. 19 with a quad strain that has plagued him throughout the season, as he has been limited to 30 games.
The anticipated postseason pairings at this point figure to be Zdeno Chara with Dougie Hamilton, Bartkowski with Boychuk and Krug with Miller, though that could change depending on who they end up facing.
|Adam McQuaid isn’t skating and Claude Julien isn’t set on Bruins’ playoff defensemen||03.28.14 at 1:26 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid is still not skating, and it’s unclear when the defenseman, who was shut down three and a half weeks ago to rehab a quad strain, will be an option for the Bruins this season.
B’s coach Claude Julien said Friday that though McQuaid remains off the ice, he is doing more and more in his workouts.
“He’s being ramped up right now off-ice. He’s going in the right direction as we speak,” Julien said. “I don’t know exactly when we’re going to see him on the ice, but right now things are going well for him.”
Asked then whether he would expect to see McQuaid back on the ice before the end of the regular season (McQuaid was supposed to get back on the ice after two-to-three weeks), Julien said he didn’t know.
“I don’t know. I just change lines and I put my lineup together,” he said with a grin. “When those guys are injured they belong to somebody else. Until they tell me he’s going on the ice, I really can’t answer that.
“All I know is they’ve told me he’s doing well off the ice, and at one point they’re going to tell me ‘within a few days we’re probably going to put him on the ice.’ I’m certainly not going to hold that back. When I find out that [he’s] going to go on the ice soon, I’ll certainly let you guy know.”
So, with the playoffs nearing and McQuaid still not in the picture, it becomes increasingly likely that Kevan Miller or Andrej Meszaros will stick in the lineup for the Bruins to begin the postseason. The B’s currently have eight healthy defensemen, but with all due respect to Corey Potter, there are seven players legitimately contending for spots. That number will increase to eight once McQuaid is healthy.
The B’s have rotated players in and out of their blue line since acquiring Meszaros, with Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Meszaros seeing time in the press box. Julien said his opinion of who will be in and who will be out come playoff time has yet to fully form.
“I’m not there yet. I don’t like to look too far ahead,” Julien said. “Right now I’m looking at whatever we have left in the regular [season] schedule. We’ll deal with that stuff. We always do it that way. As time comes along, you hear, you find out more things and you just deal with the situation as it comes, because you never know. You may not even have to deal with it, so I’m not going to waste time dealing with it right now.”
|Adam McQuaid still not close to return for Bruins||03.26.14 at 12:23 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — All healthy Bruins were on the ice for practice Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena. Unfortunately for the Bruins, that’s a group that still doesn’t include Adam McQuaid.
B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli said earlier this month that the team was shutting McQuaid down for two-to-three weeks to rehab a quad strain that has hampered the defenseman throughout the season. Wednesday marked three weeks since Chiarelli announced the plan, but Claude Julien said Wednesday that McQuaid remains off the ice.
“No, nothing,” Julien said when asked for an update on the player. “He’s still working out off-ice, but he hasn’t been on the ice yet.”
McQuaid’s continued absence increases the likelihood that the team might have to use Kevan Miller in the postseason. Miller has played well and has seen his minutes increase over his 39 games for Boston this season.
McQuaid has been limited to just 30 games this season and has not played since Jan. 19.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Johnny Boychuk returns to practice||03.20.14 at 4:03 pm ET|
Johnny Boychuk practiced with the Bruins in Denver Friday, marking his first time back on the ice with teammates since suffering a lower-body injury last Saturday against the Hurricanes.
Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested to reporters after the practice that Boychuk, who was termed day-to-day after he crashed into the boards feet-first, might not be an option to play Friday against the Avalanche, however, saying, the team will “evaluate him day by day, but if he’s not 100 percent there’s no reason why he should play.”
Boychuk had tried taking part in Monday’s morning skate, but he was too sore. The team has played Andrej Meszaros the last two games with Boychuk out, while Corey Potter played Tuesday when Matt Bartkowski served as the team’s healthy scratch against the Devils.
Thursday marks just over two weeks since Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the team would shut Adam McQuaid down for two-to-three weeks in order to aid his recovery from a quad strain. Julien was asked about McQuaid Thursday and gave little update, though he did tell reporters that the player has been “working off ice longer and longer every day.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Adam McQuaid has quad strain, Bruins will shut him down for two to three weeks||03.05.14 at 5:43 pm ET|
The Bruins will shut Adam McQuaid down for two to three weeks as he recovers from what Peter Chiarelli finally revealed to be a quad strain. McQuaid has missed 31 games with what the team had previously only called a lower-body injury.
‘We’re going to shut him down for two to three weeks,” Chiarelli said. “His injury, while it keeps healing, he has setbacks, so we’re going to give him rest two to three weeks and see where he is after that.”
McQuaid was close to returning to the lineup last week before suffering his latest setback. He hasn’t played since Jan. 19 against the Blackhawks.
“He’s got a quad strain. He was really close — you’ve heard Claude [Julien] say [he was] ready and ready to go and stuff, and he had good sessions over the break. He just reaggravated it.”
Chiarelli said that the team is not currently considering surgery. The Bruins GM compared McQuaid’s situation to that of Jared Knight a season ago. Knight dealt with a hamstring injury last season that limited him to just 12 games last season between the AHL and ECHL. The team ended up shutting down Knight for a two-week stretch after a reaggravation.
The Bruins acquired a pair of defensemen Wednesday in Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter. Both can play the right side, though the team currently has Kevan Miller playing on the third pair in McQuaid’s place.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Loui Eriksson out Tuesday vs. Panthers, but absence isn’t trade-related||03.04.14 at 11:48 am ET|
Loui Eriksson will not play in Tuesday’s game against the Panthers due to a “minor issue,” according to B’s coach Claude Julien. Eriksson and Adam McQuaid were the only players missing from the team’s morning skate.
Though the timing of Eriksson’s absence has led to speculation that the team could be trading the player, a team source indicated Tuesday that Eriksson’s absence doesn’t have anything to do with Wednesday’s trade deadline.
Julien would not specify whether Eriksson was injured, however, as he repeatedly said that Eriksson is out with an “issue” and that he will play on Thursday. With Eriksson out, Jordan Caron will play on the team’s third line with Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly.
As for McQuaid, Julien said the team will make a decision by the end of the week as to whether they will have the player proceed with his rehab from a lower body injury or shut him down for the time being.
Tuesday’s game will be the 21st Eriksson has missed this season with the Bruins, with the other 20 absences due to a pair of concussions suffered. In his previous five seasons, Eriksson missed a total of three games with the Stars, all of which came in the 2010-11 season.
Eriksson is in his first season with the B’s after being the centerpiece of the package shipped to Boston in last July 4’s trade with Dallas. He has two more seasons on his contract after this season with a reasonable cap hit of $4.25 million a season.
In 40 games for Boston this season, Eriksson has six goals and 16 assists for 22 points and a plus-11 rating.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins determining plan for Adam McQuaid||03.03.14 at 9:40 am ET|
The Bruins are determining the proper course of action to take with injured defenseman Adam McQuaid, who was initially expected to play over the weekend before suffering a setback.
McQuaid has not played since Jan. 19 and has been able to dress in just half of Boston’s 60 games this season, missing 30 games due to a lower-body injury that has plagued him since initially sustaining the injury on Nov. 9. Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Saturday in New York that the team is deciding whether to shut him down for the time being or try to continue with his rehab.
“There’s going to be an answer soon,” Julien told reporters. “We’ve got to make a decision on whether to go forward or hold him back.”
With McQuaid out, Kevan Miller has established himself as a viable option as the right defenseman on Boston’s third pairing. McQuaid and Miller bring very similar attributes, with McQuaid taller and more experienced, while Miller is stronger.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.