WILMINGTON -- The absence of Adam McQuaid from the Ristuccia Arena practice ice on Friday morning was certainly troubling, and Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed those fears following the practice session. The rangy stay-at-home defenseman “had a setback” in his recovery from a leg injury suffered on Jan. 19, and is expected to be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.
McQuaid had missed the last 10 games with his most recent leg injury, but has missed 28 games and counting this season with a series of lower body injuries that have bedeviled the rugged blueliner this season. The injuries earlier this season were related to a pulled groin muscle, and the latest injury for McQuaid is believed to be a complication resulting from that original injury.
“Yesterday [the training staff] gave him some rest, and today they wanted to give him some more. They’d felt there was a little bit of a setback,” said Julien. “So it becomes a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month [situation], I’m just not sure anymore. I’m just relying on their feedback every day.
“It’s been a frustrating injury for him. I know he’s itching to get back, but those things happen. Hopefully we’ll get some better news in the next few days. If he didn’t skate today then you probably won’t see him [this weekend].”
Kevan Miller will continue to play in McQuaid’s place as the bottom-pairing defenseman with Torey Krug, and has been a key figure in the Bruins’ ability to withstand the loss of a big, strong, physical defenseman.
“We’ve gotten a player [in Miller] that’s big, strong and physical. We’ve lost two guys that are big, strong and physical,” said Miller. “So he’s really been able to fill that hole for us. At the same time, I think he’s been pretty reliable. You don’t see too many mistakes on his part, and we’ve all seen how tough he can be. He’s been a great addition to us, especially after what we’ve been through on our back end.”
It’s frightening to envision where the Bruins would be if Miller wasn’t ready to step up into McQuaid’s spot for long stretches this season, and concerning to Boston’s playoff depth if McQuaid can’t get healthy over the last six weeks of the regular season.