BOSTON -- Just as the Bruins might be losing Brad Marchand for a bit after he took an elbow to the side of the head on Wednesday night, it looks like other players’ returns are on the horizon for the Black and Gold.
Adam McQuaid and Patrice Bergeron were both on the ice Thursday morning at TD Garden during an optional morning skate for the healthy scratches.
Bergeron’s return to skating little more than a week after he suffered a “moderate concussion” signals that he’ll return before the end of the regular season, while McQuaid should be making a return in the immediate future.
The rugged stay-at-home defenseman could be returning to the lineup as early as tonight in an important game against the New York Islanders, where the Black and Gold could clinch a playoff berth.
“Adam is ready,” pronounced coach Claude Julien on Thursday morning. “There’s a good possibility that he’ll be in the lineup tonight.”
McQuaid has missed 11 games after suffering an injured right shoulder against the Winnipeg Jets, and it was feared he might be out the rest of the regular season. But like Chris Kelly, McQuaid has returned ahead of the conservative timetables and is looking forward to bringing some toughness, size and strength to the defense in front of the net.
“I hope so,” said McQuaid, when asked if he wanted to play against the Islanders. “I’m just looking forward to getting back out there. I’ve tried to change my outlook a bit. I want to play a hard game and sometimes with that style of play, injuries come along. I tried to stay positive and just work hard getting ready.
“At this point [when you’re injured] you just try to take a positive out of a negative situation. It’s tough when we’re not practicing much as a group at this point in the season.”
Bergeron is probably at least a week away from any potential return to the Bruins lineup barring any setbacks in a concussion recovery that’s often non-linear. But overall it was more good news for Boston on the first full day they’ve enjoyed lone possession of first place in the Northeast Division in a long time.