McQuaid gets dropped in all-around tough night


McQuaid gets dropped in all-around tough night

BOSTON -- First, the most important outcome of the Adam McQuaidBobby Robins scrap in the third period: McQuaid is okay after getting into his first hockey scuffle since a concussion and blood clot surgery knocked him out of commission for the last eight months.

Robins clocked McQuaid with a strong right hand and dropped the rugged defenseman to the ice in an impressive show of force for the P-Bruins tough guy.

Hes okay. I think McQuaid was frustrated, said Claude Julien. You could see he had a tough night and just frustration built. It was just a hit at the blue line that he wasnt happy with and he created a fight.

But hes fine. I mean its one of those things that when things dont go well they really dont go well. It got from bad to worse.

The rangy McQuaid had a little bit of a tough game in his first tilt back from serious surgery in September, and finally lost his temper late in the third period. Perhaps the stay-at-home blueliner also wanted to test his healing body out after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome that left his right arm temporarily weakened from the surgery.

It was clear that Robins was looking for a fight when he get into a shoving match with both Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton earlier on in the second period of Tuesday's scrimmage. None of that should be a surprise given the role Robbins has played as an emotional catalyst in Providence this season.

Whatever the case McQuaid went right after Robins and the two parties circled several times before landing their punches. McQuaid threw a right hand that missed Robins head and then the Providence Bruins enforcer who has racked up 183 penalty minutes this season downed the Bruins defenseman with a strong overhand right punch.

Everybodys working hard, and those guys are excited to get their season going. Weve been playing now for a while, and were pretty excited too, just for the hockey world, said Robbins. Its one of those things where you get riled up in front of the net, just playing hard-nosed hockey.

It was surprising to see McQuaid hit the ice in defeat, but perhaps less so when considering that one guy has played all season while the other was on blood thinner medication less than two months ago.

The most important piece of information, however, was that McQuaid was no worse for the wear. The 6-foot-5 McQuaid will probably need to handle a few more combatants before he jumps back into his role as intimidator on the Bruins, but it was another important step on the road to getting his full game back.

We all know certain guys find their game quicker than others; we talked about that this week. McQuaid is a guy thats going to grind his way though because he didnt play in the playoffs last year, said Julien. Hes got a lot of catching up to do, and what he went through, you know, this past fall is another reason for him to be a little bit behind.

But I like the fact that he had the right attitude and the aggressiveness, and he had at least some emotion to do something about it.

Because of the health issues involved McQuaid might not be fully back to the tough customer of the last two seasons, but hes showing no fear about getting back to his former level. That's a great opening sign that he'll actually get there.

Bruins center Acciari’s status uncertain after leaving with apparent leg injury


Bruins center Acciari’s status uncertain after leaving with apparent leg injury

BOSTON – There were no updates following the preseason loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night, but fourth-line center candidate Noel Acciari had to leave in the third period with what appeared to be a leg injury. 

The Rhode Island native appeared to be favoring his right leg after getting tangled up in front of the benches just a couple of minutes into the third period, crawled toward the bench and then headed back to the B’s dressing room for repairs.

Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco didn’t have any update in the moments directly after the 5-1 preseason loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

“Noel did leave the game. I’m not sure what his status is, or what the injury was. I haven’t been told,” Sacco said. Acciari finished with five hits and a blocked shot in 10:35 of ice time vs. Detroit. “I’ll have to check with medical and see where we’re at.”

The hope is that the injury isn’t a serious one after Acciari looked strong and heavy playing an energy role down the middle last season for the Bruins in the final weeks of the regular season. He teamed with Justin Hickman and Anton Blidh to play a gritty, energy line on Wednesday night, and they were largely effective for the Black and Gold while some of the other bigger name players struggled.

A potential injury to Acciari, however, does leave the door open for Dominic Moore to really put an iron-fisted grip on the fourth-line center spot after it appeared there would be a big surplus of centers at the start of camp. 



Local kid Grzelcyk ‘really excited’ to suit up for first Bruins game


Local kid Grzelcyk ‘really excited’ to suit up for first Bruins game

BOSTON – It wasn’t the perfect outcome, or exactly how he probably dreamt it would go down growing up on the streets of Charlestown in the shadow of the home of the Bruins, but Matt Grzelcyk finally got to wear the Black and Gold in front of friends and family at TD Garden. 

The former Boston University standout was on the ice for a couple of goals against in a rough 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night and clearly had a little bit of culture shock adjusting from NCAA hockey to the speed and intensity of a preseason NHL game.

The 22-year-old admitted as much after slowly showing during the game that he was getting more accustomed to the speed, power and precision of NHL opponents playing with purpose.

“I think maybe I was a little bit shocked coming out there. The speed of the game is obviously noticeably faster. But I think as time went on I felt a little more comfortable out there, and was able to skate pucks out of trouble. Hopefully I can build on that going forward,” said Grzelcyk. “It was obviously really exciting to get out there. I was a little bit nervous for the game and stuff and [had to] get the jitters out. But it was nice to get my first game under my belt.”

The puck-moving defenseman had tons of friends and family in the stands including his father, John, who usually works on the bull gang making sure the Garden sheet is in tip-top shape for games such as Wednesday night’s affair. So, it was natural for the nerves to be there despite “Grizz” suiting up for plenty of Beanpot games at the Garden as a member of the Terriers, but they went away as the game went along.

He picked up an assist on Boston’s only goal after working the puck up to Ryan Spooner prior to him feeding Austin Czarnik for the score. Then it was about simply playing the game, and showing where his level of play is right now as the Bruins evaluate all of their D-men. Grzelcyk had the point and he logged a solid 19:49 of ice time while finishing with a minus-1 rating and a couple of shots on net.

So, there were some positives for the local kid and some things to work on as he gets ready for some seasoning in the AHL when cuts eventually come in this B’s camp.

“I think it was a night where, as the game went on, he got better. I thought his third period was the best period he had, and as the game progressed, he started to feel a little bit more confident out there,” said Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco. “He was skating. He was avoiding… being able to escape some of the breakouts, and it’s his first game in a Bruins uniform back at home here, so I’m sure at the beginning he was probably fighting some nerves. I’m sure it was a special night for him in that regard, but I thought he got better as the game went on.”

The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder will clearly take that the first time out, but clearly Grzelcyk will be looking to show the abilities that saw him post 20 goals and 61 points over his past two seasons at BU as a talented offensive D-man looking to help sooner rather than later.