BOSTON -- While David Krejci graced the TD Garden ice for the first time in nearly a week during Tuesdays morning skate, the nifty center (core) and puck-moving defenseman Steve Kampfer (knee) will still be out for tonights game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid is much closer to a return for tonights contest as he returns from a neck injury that originally caused concussion-like headaches, but has subsided completely in the last few days.
Bruins coach Claude Julien termed McQuaid a game-time decision, and its likely that the blueliner could play if he continues through the rest of the day without any symptoms from his head-first crash into the boards. The hard-nosed defenseman managed his way through an entire morning skate with the team, but was not made available to the media following the morning twirl.
Its a game time decision, said Julien. There are some things that we need to see if hes going to play.
But Julien also added that the Bruins are prepared to once again go with Matt Bartkowski if the rugged McQuaid isnt quite ready to go against the Canes. While the Bs coach was quick to point out just how much the rookie defenseman has improved from last years cup of coffee with the NHL team, its clear Bartkowski still struggles with decision-making once the fore-check attack speeds up at the NHL level.
Hes a lot stronger. You can see it in his demeanor and in his battles. Hes obviously a good skater and one year of playing pro hockey has made him a better player, said Julien. How good Bartkowski wants to be is up to him. The potential is there for him. But hes one of those guys that maybe lacks a little bit of experience.
What I see is that he needs to be processing whats going on a little quicker. This is a quicker league than the AHL and you need to process what youre seeing a little more quickly.
Thats where experience and practicing with us sometimes is going to help him.
At the end of the day Bartkowski has managed to earn 6:57 of ice time in two games with the Bruins, and has been far from the ice during the third period crunch time that often serves as the difference between winning and losing.