McQuaid looking to improve on solid start

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McQuaid looking to improve on solid start

Adam McQuaid isnt quite satisfied that hes back to his normal hard-to-play-against, stay-at-home self, and is starting to feel that urgency that comes with a shortened 48-game schedule.

The Bruins blueliner looked mean, strong and, well, normal while trading body blows in the battle areas with physical forwards like Ryan Callahan in Saturday nights opener against the Rangers. But McQuaid also felt like he took a slight step back in the seasons second game against the Winnipeg Jets, and hes still trying to get a feel for everything going down on the ice.

I think theres definitely some room for improvement. The first game wasnt too bad. I know the last game wasnt as good as the first game, said McQuaid, who didnt even skate until December because of two serious blood clot surgeries he underwent in the fall. Ive just got to get used to the physical side again. Youve also got to get used to your positioning. Its like what I mentioned after the exhibition game about getting things back to second nature rather than youre thinking about them on the ice.

McQuaid has doled out seven hits while averaging 15:43 of ice time in his first two games, and he was noticeable while battling Callahan in front in Boston's season-opening win. Only Milan Lucic (14) and Zdeno Chara (10) have more registered hits than McQuaid in the first two Bruins games of the season.

So perhaps hes being a little too hard on himself, though it was McQuaid and Andrew Ference that blew the assignment leading to Kyle Wellwoods breakaway chance on Monday for Winnipeg. Luckily for them, Tuukka Rask covered for the missed assignment.

Claude Julien has liked what hes seen thus far out of McQuaid, a key strong-armed cog in their defensemen corps.

"I liked his game against the Rangers," Julien said after Boston's win over New York. "When you compare it to the scrimmage you saw two totally different players. He went back to his basics of keeping his game simple, and being physical and mean.

"He was letting other players know that it wasnt going to be fun to play against him. I liked his game and I actually mentioned that to him."

Looks like McQuaid will try to look for that improvement by getting back to that simple, mean game against the very same Rangers team tonight in New York.

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.