|With future uncertain, Adam McQuaid happy to be healthy||09.03.14 at 3:51 pm ET|
WILMINGTON – Earlier in Adam McQuaid’s NHL career, the book on him fairly apparent: He was a tough-as-nails right shot defensemen whose responsible style made him a good fit on a third pairing, but he couldn’t be counted on for 82 games. That, and he could fight like a maniac.
McQuaid suffered smaller injuries here and there as he missed two playoff games in Boston’s 2011 Cup run, 10 games in 2011-12 (and then all seven playoff games with a concussion), then missed 16 games in the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
Last season, however, was a different animal. A quad injury hindered him through multiple attempts to return to the lineup, and when all was said and done McQuaid got into only 30 games, the last of which was Jan. 19. When it became clear that the quad had ended his season, the decision was made for him to get ankle surgery to heal another issue that had been bothering him.
Now, with the Bruins and other local skaters taking the ice in preparation for the season, McQuaid is at full health and trying to find his feet again. The biggest physical hurdle remaining for him is conditioning, as it’s tough to be in optimal game shape when you’ve been off the ice for seven-plus months.
“Just getting strength and endurance,” McQuaid said of where he stands in his comeback. “It’s been a bit of a layoff, so getting back into situations, making plays and reading plays and understanding your position on the ice, which probably everyone will have a bit of an adjustment but it’ll be a little more for me. So just need to make those areas that I focus on.”
Injuries aside, McQuaid’s biggest problem might be that he is returning to a Bruins defensive picture that is much different than the one that he left. When McQuaid initially suffered his injury on Nov. 13, he was locked in as Boston’s third-pairing right defenseman, playing regular minutes alongside Torey Krug.
When he went out, Matt Bartkowski got more NHL experience, while Kevan Miller emerged in McQuaid’s spot on the third pair. Now, the 27-year-old McQuaid is just one of nine NHL blue liners trying to get on the ice for the B’s.
“I guess it’s a good situation to have for the team,” McQuaid said. “Luckily, we’ve put ourselves in this position as an organization. I think everyone, just same old saying: control what you can control. I want to come out and give out my best effort. Hopefully that’s enough. We’ll see how things go. Just focus on your job and the other decisions will be left to the people that make those decisions.”
When Miller initially established himself and then signed a team-friendly two-year contract with an annual cap hit of just $800,000, it looked like McQuaid could become expendable. Trading McQuaid now would be unwise for the Bruins, however, as the more logical move would be to let McQuaid re-establish himself with an extended stretch of healthy playing time and then re-assess where the team’s back end stands.
“You just focus on your job and at the end of the day, you don’t make those decisions,” McQuaid said. “Other people do. You try to put yourself in the best position to succeed and that’s really all you can do.”
|No practice for Bruins; Adam McQuaid has ankle surgery||05.04.14 at 1:40 pm ET|
Adam McQuaid, who has been out since Jan. 19 with a quad strain, is officially done for the season after getting arthoscopic surgery on his right ankle. McQuaid played 30 games this season, the last of which was Jan. 19 in Chicago before missing the rest of the season with a quad strain.
McQuaid was last seen skating on April 19. According to an industry source, the decision was made for McQuaid to have surgery on the ankle — an issue that he’d already been dealing with — once it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to play this season due to the quad injury. At that point, it made sense to take care of the ankle immediately.
It was obviously a very trying year for McQuaid, who initially hurt himself on Nov. 9 against the Maple Leafs and made multiple comeback attempts that didn’t take. He returned for three games in November before re-aggravating his quad injury and then came back in December to play 11 games before getting injured again. The team shut him down for over a month in March, but he never returned to game action.
“Every time I’ve come back, I’ve hoped that that was going to be the end of it, but it’s hockey and things happens,” McQuaid said in February. “So it goes in life.”
It could be tougher for McQuaid going forward, as Kevan Miller may have claimed the third-pairing right spot — McQuaid’s usual role — for good. McQuaid has one more year on his current contract after this season with a $1.56 million cap hit, while Miller is signed up for the next two seasons at $800,000 a year.
McQuaid’s teammates stayed off the ice for the most part Sunday as they have a two-day break between Saturday’s Game 2 victory in Boston and Tuesday’s Game 3 in Montreal.
On the ice for the Bruins Sunday morning were Dennis Seidenberg, Corey Potter, Justin Florek and Matt Bartkowski. Florek and Bartkowski were both healthy scratches in Game 2 against the Canadiens.
Potter’s presence on the ice is a good sign, as he suffered a shoulder injury between Games 4 and 5 of the first round against the Red Wings.
As for Chris Kelly, who has yet to skate since suffering a back injury late in the season, Claude Julien gave minimal update on Boston’s third-line left wing. Julien would only say that each day has been better for Kelly.
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|Dennis Seidenberg skates again, Peter Chiarelli says Bruins aren’t counting on his return||04.14.14 at 12:06 pm ET|
Dennis Seidenberg skated Monday at TD Garden as he remains ahead of schedule in his recovery from ACL and MCL surgery, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli cautioned against expecting Seidenberg to return at some point during the playoffs.
The B’s have not ruled out a postseason return for Seidenberg, however, after initially declaring him out for the season at the time of his injury in late December.
“We’re not counting on Dennis to be back,” Chiarelli said Monday. “We’re going to be very cautious with his injury. He has been skating and that’s pretty much all I can say on it.”
Adam McQuaid also skated Monday in his comeback from a quad strain that limited to 30 games this season. Multiple setbacks in his recovery led to the team shutting him down for about a month in early March. Chiarelli said there isn’t much clarity on his situation.
“Not really, no,” Chiarelli said. “‘¦ We want to be careful on it. It’s not a major injury; it’s a soft tissue injury. We’ve been doing OK with the D we have, so we want to be cautious with it.”
Given the emergence of Kevan Miller, it’s unlikely a healthy McQuaid would be needed unless a right-shot defenseman struggles or is injured.
Daniel Paille left Saturday’s game with what appeared to be a head injury, but Claude Julien told reporters Sunday that Paille was feeling “much better” and was day-to-day. Chiarelli said following his updates on Seidenberg and McQuaid that he hadn’t intended to give injury updates (common practice in the postseason) and as such did not offer an update on Paille’s status.
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|Report: Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid begin skating for Bruins||04.09.14 at 12:12 pm ET|
Seidenberg was ruled out for the season after tearing his ACL/MCL on Dec. 27 against the Senators, but he is well ahead in his recovery from surgery and the possibility exists that he could return late in the playoffs.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had told the Boston Globe last month that Seidenberg might begin skating later in the postseason, but Steve Conroy of the Herald reported that the veteran defenseman skated for 15 minutes and that “it’s not known just how well his knee held up.” It is also unclear when he will skate again.
“My guess is, if we go deep, he’ll start skating at some point and we’ll just see how he is,’ Chiarelli told the Globe on March 21. ‘We’ve been very cautious in the past with the injuries and coming back.’
McQuaid, meanwhile, has been out since Jan. 19 with a quad strain. The team decided to shut him down in early March after he suffered a setback in his attempted return. Conroy reported there is no timetable for either player’s return to the lineup.
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|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.
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