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.
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.