Rough return for McQuaid


Rough return for McQuaid

BOSTON -- Adam McQuaid missed several weeks while working his way back from a headneck injury, and --unfortunately -- he found himself in the thick of things in his first game back for the Bruins.

McQuaid was on the ice for both goals allowed, and committed a rough turnover on an errant pass intercepted by Tomas Plekanec for the game-winning goal in Montreals 2-1 victory over the slumping Bruins at TD Garden. Plekanec took the errant McQuaid pass aimed for Patrice Bergeron in the neutral zone, moved into the offensive zone with speed in the third period and didnt give up when his first shot was blocked by McQuaids imposing 6-foot-4 frame. The puck bounced right back onto his stick and Tim Thomas was too late scrambling to regain position.

McQuaid blocked it first and it blocked right back to him, that always messes everything up, all the angles and everything, said Thomas, who made 33 stops in defeat. Then you have Plekanec, I mean he took a shot from ten feet away, hes a goal scorer.

Claude Julien was asked to assess McQuaids performance in his first game back from injury, and it was pretty clear he wasnt ready to put the defenseman into any other different category aside from the rest of his struggling teammates.

Its his first game back, surmised Julien. The way were playing right now, its too easy to jump on guys, and Im not going to do that.

McQuaid finished with 14:52 of ice time and fired a pair of shots on the Montreal net, and otherwise appeared healthy and ready to jump back into the Bs regular rotation moving forward. But the rangy Bs blueliner was discouraged at the lackluster team result following the game just as he was pumped to be ready for game play on Thursday morning prior to puck drop.

We were a little scrambly and probably at times trying to force things and make things happen when theyre not there, said McQuaid. When you try to force things a lot of time it can force turnovers.

I felt good as far as my skating and stuff like that. For the most part being in game situations I felt pretty good. But obviously Im not very happy with the end results, so take it with a grain of salt I guess.

The good news for McQuaid and the Bruins: He's healthy and ready to start playing in a string of games as opposed to the Bruins being forced to play Steve Kampfer or Matt Bartkowski. Both should be able to contribute in time, but its still clear McQuaid is the best choice for a bottom-pairing role when all six Bs defensemen are slotted into the lineup correctly.

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It certainly sounded like there were some things that made the Wednesday night loss in Detroit a little different for the Bruins.

The Bruins media corps conducted postgame interviews in the hallway rather than in the visiting dressing room after what must have been a combustible atmosphere immediately following the shootout defeat. 

There was also evidence of anger in the visitor’s dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, according to reports, with a door off its hinges when the media was able to get a look inside the dressing room area.

David Backes confirmed something was different about the loss after blowing a pair of three-goal leads, and failing to follow up their dreadful no-show vs. the Islanders with a winning performance against another bad team in Detroit. The B’s forward said the plane ride home from Detroit was solemn and quiet, and that it was clear the Bruins team was “wounded” after a crushing loss.

“Both [losses] can be great lessons if we learn from it, and neither was very enjoyable. That was probably the quietest I think our guys were all year on that plane ride home from Detroit,” said Backes. “To me, that’s a great sign that it hit us in the heart, and it hit us where it really mattered. We’re thinking about how we can turn the tide and thinking about we can be victorious the next time out.

“We had the lead, and in a lot of instances you’re expecting, as you should, to come out of there with two points. We’re at the time in the season where wins need to be garnered and taken home.

“There were a lot of aspects where we should have grabbed the game back. When you feel like you’ve had a lot of opportunities to take the game and you don’t do it, it’s not a good feeling. I was reflecting on that during a very quiet team plane ride back from Detroit, and it seemed pretty clear that the whole team was feeling wounded. I think it’s a good sign that guys were feeling that way, and that means they’re going to do everything in their power to not have that feeling again.”

The words are encouraging from a 32-year-old natural leader in Backes, who has seen good times and bad as captain of the St. Louis Blues in his 10-year NHL career. But the proof is ultimately on the ice where the Bruins have games against the Blackhawks and Penguins coming up and face some very stiff tests coming off a couple of losses against the worst teams in the East that exposed Black and Gold fragility at this point in the season. 


After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins, looking for a spark after terrible, back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings, are hoping the return of Matt Beleskey from a knee injury can help provide the inspiration. 

The blue-collar left winger has missed the past 23 games with a torn MCL in his right knee suffered in early December against the Buffalo Sabres, but now he’s easing back into the lineup on the fourth line in Friday night’s showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Beleskey was skating with Dominic Moore and Austin Czarnik on the fourth line at morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena and should be expected to throw a few hard hits and play with some intensity in his return.

“I’m ready to go and excited to get back out there,” said Beleskey, who has been skating with the team for roughly a week after giving the knee sufficient time to heal. “I’ve just got to keep it simple and do what I do well: Be hard on pucks, take the body and just try and find your groove. You don’t want to expect too much in your first game back, but you just want to be able to contribute.

“’I’ve been saving [the pent-up energy] for a while, so I’m ready to get back out there and hopefully provide a spark for us.”

The Beleskey return also provides the player with a bit of a reset button after a slow start to the season that saw him with two goals and five points along with a minus-6 rating in 24 games played for the Black and Gold prior to his injury. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairs against the Blackhawks based on morning skate today: