By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- It looks like Adam McQuaid should make his season debut this weekend after a slightly tardy start.
McQuaid said he was starting to feel back to normal after dealing with a flu-like illness. Thursday was the first time in three days that the defenseman felt like he could get out of bed and move around.
Claude Julien wouldnt sign off on McQuaid being a definite against the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday, largely because he didnt have to make any guarantees 36 hours before the game.
Hes feeling better today with the expectation hell feel even better tomorrow, said Julien. Im optimistic, but Id wait until tomorrow to make a comment as to whether hes in or not.
McQuaid was felled by some combination of fluvirusbug after the team-bonding trip in Maine and wasnt even feeling well enough to take part in the pregame skate prior to puck drop against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, McQuaid did made it on the ice briefly to hoist the Cup once on the TD Garden ice before the Bruins handed the Cup back to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto for next years winner.
McQuaid wouldnt have missed that, but of course he was disappointed about being unable to play in the first game against the Flyers.
The missed game against Philly actually continues a bizarre string of bad luck against the Flyers that includes getting boarded by Jody Shelley last season and hurting his neck going for a hit on Mike Richards during last years Cup playoffs. Nobody would blame McQuaid for being a little hesitant to suit up against the Flyers, but the brawling blueliner isnt the type of player to shy away from anybody.
I cant really remember the last time I felt that bad. It was really unfortunate timing with all the excitement that was going on over the last couple of days. But I was able to get through practice and I felt pretty good, said McQuaid. There are 81 more games now, though, and hopefully Ill feel that much better tomorrow and be good to go.
I was still happy that I was at least able to be out there with the guys during the banner-raising to take part in it. It was a special moment for the team, the organization and the fans. With all the excitement and energy in the building, though, it was disappointing I couldnt take part in the game.
Matt Bartkowski filled in for McQuaid as the sixth defenseman and barely cracked eight minutes of ice time against the Flyers, so the Bruins coaching staff certainly isnt going to lollygag getting McQuaid back in the lineup against a talented Lightning bunch. Bartkowski admitted feeling a bit tentative out on the ice, and is hoping to get another chance to prove himself if McQuaid isn't ready to go.
Ive just got to get a little more confident out there because I can feel that Im a little hesitant out there, said Bartkowski. It was great being out there for the banner ceremony and raising the Cup, but Ive got to do whatever I can to help the team win.