McQuaid finally ready to start season


McQuaid finally ready to start season

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli indicated that Adam McQuaid should be a go for Saturday nights opener against the New York Rangers. But the 26-year-old rugged defenseman had to go out and prove it on the practice ice after undergoing blood clot surgery in the fall.

Where McQuaid once thought his season might be over as he was originally prescribed blood thinners for a lengthy amount of time following surgery, now it appears he may not miss any time after looking strong in contact drills over the last two practice days. The final test may be when McQuaid drops the glove to throw his first right-handed punch in anger after building a reputation as a hockey tough guy, but that wont come until the Black and Gold start playing in some regular season games.

Everything has felt good and been a positive step toward no limitations starting this weekend. And despite the appearance that McQuaid lost a significant amount of weight following the blood clot surgeries, he said hes now back up to his 209-pound playing weight of last season.

I havent had a chance to open the season with the team, so Im hoping that this is the year, said McQuaid, who has been either shelved by illness or a healthy scratch at the start of each of the last two seasons after debuting in midseason with the Bruins in 2009-10. Contact has been pretty good. Im trying to test myself as often as possible and felt pretty good. Its been a long time since Ive been in a lot of those situations, so its a bit of a feeling-out process.

For the Bruins it brings back size and defensive strength around the net: something that was missing when Andrew Ference was without his normal D partner in the playoffs as McQuaid battled concussion symptoms.

He had a pretty good scare with that blood clot, but hes great now, said Claude Julien. Hes recovered well and I guess the doctors determined that hes okay. Thats why hes on the ice with us. I know last year during the playoffs we missed his size and his great defensive play. We missed him.

Partners are also used to playing with each other and Andrew is somebody thats used to playing with him. You just have to look at two years ago when they were a great pair for us.

Ference and McQuaid will hope to recreate that D-man magic this season with both players healthy and ready to go, and thats pretty amazing given that it didnt even seem remotely possible a couple of months ago.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.