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.

Jacobs, Recchi, Andreychuk among HOF class of 2017

Jacobs, Recchi, Andreychuk among HOF class of 2017

New England has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, pretty much. 

The Bruins’ owner, two former Bruins players and one Hockey East legend are among those announced to be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017. The full list: Dave Andreychuk, Danielle Goyette, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi, Teemu Selanne, Clare Drake and Jeremy Jacobs.

Acquired from the Lightning at the 2009 trade deadline, Recchi played parts of three seasons with the Bruins, notably winning the Stanley Cup in his final season in 2011. Over 189 regular-season games for Boston, Recchi scored 42 of his 577 career goals. 

Andreychuk spent part of one season with in Boston, joining the B’s in 1999 but being moved to the Avalanche at the trade deadline of that season in the Ray Bourque trade. 

Kariya became the first freshman to ever win the Hobey Baker award, a feat he accomplished by putting up 100 points in his first of two years at the University of Maine. He got to triple digits again soon in the NHL, posting 50 goals and 58 assists in his second of nine seasons with the Ducks. He followed his Mighty Ducks tenure with stops with the Avalanche, Predators and Blues before retiring due to concussion issues in 2010. He finished with a point a game on the nose, putting up 989 points in 989 games. 

Morning Skate: Petersen snubs Sabres, Fleury pens letter to Pittsburgh

Morning Skate: Petersen snubs Sabres, Fleury pens letter to Pittsburgh

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the NHL pre-July 1 wooing period is underway.

 

*Another draft pick has snubbed the team that selected him after their college career, and this time it’s the Buffalo Sabres. 

 

*It’s a shame to see the demise of the CTV sports staff in Montreal. Brian Wilde is a friend and a colleague, and a voice on the Habs that deserved to be heart up in that city. 

 

*In an emotional letter penned to the only NHL city that he’d ever played in, Marc-Andre Fleury has plenty to say about Pittsburgh. 

 

*The Edmonton Oilers and Peter Chiarelli have signed rugged power forward Zack Kassian to a three-year, $5.85 million contract. Interesting risk here for a player that might be a fourth line guy, and has had some issues toeing the line in the past, but Kassian has been pretty effective for the Oil since they stuck out their neck for him. 

 

*Teemu Selanne is a no-brainer for this season’s Hockey Hall of Fame class, and that’s great. But it will be a crime if three-time Stanley Cup champion and high-ranking lifetime scorer Mark Recchi doesn’t finally get into the Hall this season. Seriously, Recchi has the credentials statistically, he has the Stanley Cups, he has the time playing with some of the greatest players of his generation during his NHL career and he also happens to have been a great person and leader on top of all that. If former Bruins winger Recchi doesn’t hear his name announced this season then something is seriously flawed with the process. 

 

*How exactly will the return of Brandon Saad impact both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane over the next few seasons? One would imagine it’s going to be a positive impact. 

 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman thinks that the Columbus Blue Jackets are making a push to be contenders, and will be in the mix for Ilya Kovalchuk. 

 

*Speaking of Blackhawks former Cup champs, Niklas Hjalmarsson is bringing that winning tradition, experience and leadership to the Arizona Coyotes now that he’s been traded. 

 

*For something completely different: What a crazy story this Han Solo movie intrigue has turned into, with reports that the movie’s crew “broke into applause” when it was announced that Ron Howard was taking over direction of the movie.