TAMPA Adam McQuaid thought things were pretty bad as he left CONSOL Energy Center on Sunday afternoon. He was headed for the hospital while his team was still playing on the ice.
The towering defenseman was on the receiving end of a shoulder-to-shoulder hit with Pittsburgh Penguins power forward James Neal, and McQuaid immediately crumpled up and skated off the ice in severe pain while play continued.
The Bs defensemen couldnt make it back to the Bruins bench on his own, and the team was obviously thinking worst-case scenario after watching the wince-worthy sequence of events.
But McQuaid checked out okay at the Pittsburgh hospital and was back out on the ice Tuesday morning for a pregame skate at the Tampa Times Forum. He was preparing to play, and Julien indicated following the skate that Mike Mottau will be a healthy scratch.
Its going to come down to a choice between Greg Zanon and McQuaid for the final defensemen spot against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Julien might just err on the side of caution.
I know McQuaid and Patrice Bergeron are possibilities, but not certainties," Julien said. "Well dress 13 forwards and seven defensemen for the pregame warm-ups tonight. Well know more later, and well know even more after warm-ups. We had no idea how bad things were with the injuries on Sunday. Bergeron and McQuaid were in bad shape. They couldnt even finish up the game.
It was a hit that really hurt McQuaid to the point where he had to go to the hospital to get checked out. But it looks like a little bit of a break on our end that they were able to skate with us so quickly. We want to play with players that are as healthy as they can be. One thing you dont want is to put them in at 70 percent and then you lose them for another week or two. So you want to make sure the decision is the right one with all of these guys.
McQuaid doesnt appear to be quite 100 percent and may end up a healthy scratch given Bostons depth along the blue line. But McQuaids presence at the skate was a testament to his toughness and willingness to play through pain.
Im feeling better with each day and making steady progress. Ill come to the rink prepared to play, but weve got a lot of healthy D right now. So well see what happens, said McQuaid. It was something I hadnt experienced before, so I wasnt sure how bad it was. To be where I am today from Sunday means Im making pretty good progress.
Depth is never a negative thing. In a situation of injuries or when everybody is healthy it keeps a good competition for people to want to stay in the lineup.
The gritty defensemen admitted he was pretty concerned right after the car-crash collision that his injury was something serious.
There is always a little bit of concern right away. But I got all checked out and everything worked out. It put my mind at ease a little bit and you just worry about getting better, said McQuaid.
Consider McQuaid one of the walking wounded ready to suit up for the Bruins as the team has a considerable number of players in the Black and Gold infirmary.