Injured McQuaid 'getting there' after full practice

Injured McQuaid 'getting there' after full practice
November 22, 2013, 3:45 pm
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WILMINGTON – Adam McQuaid went through an entire hour-plus practice with his Bruins teammates on Friday afternoon at Ristuccia Arena, and had a big smile on his after the session was over.

But the rangy stay-at-home defenseman wasn’t ready to pronounce himself fully fit and ready for Saturday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes after missing the last six games with a lower body injury that sounds like a troublesome groin.

“I’m getting there. Today was better than yesterday and I’m getting into some game-type situations,” said McQuaid. “I’ll need to talk it over with the trainers about what stuff is okay to play through. I guess I’ll find out.

“Strength is an issue. It’s about having the explosiveness and the power that you need to play at this level. If you’re not the fleetest of foot to begin with, you want to make sure that you have that.”

Instead McQuaid will see how the injury feels during pre-game warm-up, and Claude Julien will have the option of again using Kevan Miller if there’s any question about availability. The B’s coach said that if McQuaid “isn’t ready to go”, he’d have no issues going right back to the 26-year-old Miller after an impressive 17:42 of stay-at-home ice time in the shootout loss to St. Louis.

Or as McQuaid said, “I don’t think [Miller] made one bad play in that game.”

“I just thought [Miller] was pretty steady. He was solid. He made good plays, he defended well and he didn’t beat in any areas of the game,” said Julien. “Sometimes you need those guys. He just played with a lot of confidence, and that’s what you ask for as a coach out of those players. In his case he’ll get in trouble if he starts complicating the game.

“It’s not always about how much you do, but it’s about what you do in those pressure situations. He wasn’t a liability and we weren’t afraid to use him in overtime. That’s a good sign. From what he did last night then it becomes about consistent with that every night, and when he does that he’ll be in the NHL . . . for good.”

One of the issues making things more difficult for McQuaid is the fact that his injury is something he’s never experienced before, and it’s a little bit like flying blind with the Bruins training staff.

“It’s something I might have to play through a little bit, but you also need to make sure it’s something you can play through,” said McQuaid. “It’s all new to me. Every day I’m not sure what the next day will bring, so I’m just doing what I’m told and trying to work through things.”

With the NHL schedule still very early on in November, there’s no need to rush McQuaid back with an injury that become a chronic issue if not allowed to heal properly. That goes doubly so when the B’s defensemen corps didn’t even skip a beat with a similar type player in Miller subbing ably for McQuaid.