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Adam McQuaid working out, riding stationary bike 11.14.13 at 11:46 am ET
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Injured defenseman Adam McQuaid still has yet to skate since suffering a lower-body injury last Saturday against the Maple Leafs, but he did take a positive step forward Thursday when he rode the stationary bike.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said he saw McQuaid working out following the team’s morning skate, but that he still doesn’t know whether the team will take him to Ottawa for Friday’s game.

With McQuaid still out, Matt Bartkowski will play his second straight game as he remains in the lineup along Johnny Boychuk.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Adam McQuaid misses Wednesday’s practice, still day-to-day 11.13.13 at 10:39 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Defenseman Adam McQuaid was the only player missing from Wednesday’s Bruins practice at Ristuccia Arena, suggesting he’s likely to remain out with a lower-body injury.

McQuaid left after his second shift of Saturday’s win over the Maple Leafs and did not play Monday against the Lightning. He grabbed his groin area at the end of his last shift Saturday, with Claude Julien saying McQuaid’s injury is to “where he grabbed.” The coach added that he wasn’t sure if McQuaid’s injury was a “day-to-day” situation or a “week-plus.” He gave something of an update following Wednesday’s practice.

“Still day-to-day,” Julien said. “He’s not skating now because he’s not capable of it. We keep hoping that he keeps improving, and we’ll see where he stands by then.”

Matt Bartkowski played Monday in McQuaid’s place and is expected to be in again Thursday against the Blue Jackets. Julien said the team has “no idea” whether McQuaid will travel to Ottawa for Friday’s game.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins not sure if Adam McQuaid’s injury is ‘day-to-day or a week-plus’ 11.11.13 at 12:13 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was confirmed out for Monday’s matinee against the Lightning with a lower-body injury, and the Bruins aren’t sure when he’ll be able to return.

“They haven’t told us whether it’s day-to-day or a week-plus,” Claude Julien said. “I don’t have the answer for you there.”

McQuaid appeared to grab his groin area during his second shift of the game Saturday against the Maple Leafs. He was slow to get off the ice and did not return. Asked to confirm that it was a lower-body injury, Julien said that it was the area McQuaid grabbed as he went down.

“I think everybody knows where he got hurt,” Julien said. “I think he grabbed it quick enough that it was pretty obvious.”

With McQuaid out, Matt Bartkowski will play Monday. He was paired with Johnny Boychuk in Sunday’s practice.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Offense taking over defense with Matt Bartkowski ready to step in for Adam McQuaid 11.10.13 at 1:36 pm ET
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WILMINGTON – Claude Julien said at the beginning of the season that the Bruins wouldn’t let Matt Bartkowski sit for a month. It’s true — they didn’t — but they’ve hardly gotten him into the lineup regularly of late.

With Bartkowski set to step in Monday for the injured Adam McQuaid, he’ll be playing in just the second time in the last 11 games. Bartkowski last played last Saturday against the Islanders, when he posted a minus-1 in a 3-1 Bruins loss.

“It’s just like stepping in for another game,” Bartkowski said Sunday. “I just try and think about that, so it’s nothing new.”

Assuming Bartkowski is in, the Bruins will likely be looking at having one of their young, mobile defensemen on each of their three pairings. Bartkowski was paired with Johnny Boychuk in practice Sunday, while Hamilton skated with Zdeno Chara and Krug — playing on the right side — was with Dennis Seidenberg.

If the Bruins go with those pairings — which are different from the ones they had when McQuaid was scratched in favor of Bartkowski in Florida last month — a Bruins back end that has already become a lot more offensive-minded will take it a step further with half of the defensemen being mobile blueliners.

“We do bring a little bit different game, I guess, with the skating and everything,” Bartkowski said. “It seems like the league has a lot of those D, and it’s good that we can bring that to the team. The solid D core that they’ve had here for years has worked. They won a Cup with it and everything, so for us to be able to add a little bit, it definitely helps.”

On the season, Bartkowski has played in four games, registering one assist and posting a minus-3 rating.

Given that the Bruins entered the season with seven defensemen capable of being NHL regulars, it seemed likely that Bartkowski, the fourth left shot among the seven, would be the odd man out. Yet Julien vowed to get him in the lineup wherever he could rather than letting him collect cobwebs in the press box like many spare parts.

As such, Bartkowski played in three of the Bruins’ first six games. Yet due to steady play from Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton and perhaps a desire on the Bruins’ part to get some consistency during a rough stretch of the season, Bartkowski played in only one of the next 10 contests.

“We all know that under other circumstances he’€™d probably be in the top-4 maybe even on some other teams when he’€™s on top of his game, so he’€™s a good defenseman,” Julien said. “It’€™s just right now we’€™ve got numbers. We’€™ve got veterans that are extremely good, that we’€™ve relied on in the past.

“We’€™ve got some good young players here. ‘€¦ How do you take Krug out of the lineup when he’€™s probably one of your most important guys on the power play? Hamilton is the same way. He’€™s on the power play but he’€™s also played extremely well, so it’€™s not easy to balance those things out. So you make decisions as you go along, you know with time it’€™ll even itself out but he’€™s a good player, he deserves and belongs in this league. It’€™s as simple as that.”

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Adam McQuaid doubtful for Monday at 11:38 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid is doubtful for Monday’s game against the Lightning after missing Sunday’s practice. McQuaid appeared to suffer a lower-body injury on his second shift of Saturday’s game and was slow to get off the ice.

Claude Julien said after the practice that McQuaid is “still hurting.” With McQuaid is unlikely to play, Matt Bartkowski will probably make his return to the lineup.

Bartkowski has played just once in the Bruins’ last nine games (last Saturday against the Islanders), but was paired with Johnny Boychuk in Sunday’s practice.

The Bruins’ defensive pairings in practice were Chara – Hamilton, Seidenberg – Krug, Bartkowski – Boychuk.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Dougie Hamilton steps up against Toronto, adding to his second-year improvement 11.09.13 at 11:58 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton saw his three-game point streak come to an end Saturday night. He couldn’€™t get off the ice during a two-and-a-half-minute shift in the second period. And he said after the game that he didn’€™t know where the phrase ‘€œJekyll and Hyde’€ came from.

There you go. Those are all the things that went wrong for Hamilton in the Bruins’€™ 3-1 win over Toronto. The list of things that went right is much, much longer, as the 20-year-old defenseman played arguably his best game of the season, and maybe the best of his young career.

With Adam McQuaid playing just 44 seconds before leaving the game with an injury, the rest of the Bruins’€™ defense corps had to pick up his minutes. But it was Hamilton who saw the biggest spike in playing time. He wound up playing 24:43, a career high for a 60-minute game and a full five minutes more than his season average entering Saturday.

“His first part of the year he was in and out a little bit. But he’€™s played really solid for us,” Claude Julien said after the game. “Offensively he continues to make good decisions, good plays, very aggressive. Defensively he’€™s becoming better and better all the time. So he’€™s a young player — he’€™s a 20-year-old — but with experience, he’€™s starting to flourish and he just has to keep going that way.”

Hamilton would’€™ve picked up a couple extra minutes no matter what, but the way he played warranted even more than that. He created a number of scoring chances in the offensive zone, including one in the first where he made a nice move around Nikolai Kulemin at the blue line before zipping a pass over to David Krejci, only to have Krejci flip the shot off the side of the net. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bruins await word on Adam McQuaid at 10:54 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid left Saturday night’s win over the Maple Leafs with a lower-body injury in the third period and did not return to the game. Following the game, Claude Julien had little to share on his status.

“It’s hard to give you a real good assessment after the game,” Julien said. “He didn’t come back because he couldn’t. We’ll probably give you more tomorrow when it’s a little bit clearer.”

McQuaid went down in his second shift of the game and first shift following a fight with Frazer McLaren. He was spotted by the Patriot-Ledger’s Mike Loftus walking out of the Garden under his own power following the game without crutches, but struggling to an extent.

If McQuaid is unable to go Monday against the Lightning, Matt Bartkowski could return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in nine of the Bruins’ last 10 games.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

 

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