By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
Adam McQuaid was present during the morning skate Thursday at TD Garden, but theres still some question as to whether the rangy, gritty defenseman will crack the start lineup.
McQuaid has missed the last two days with an illness that hit him pretty hard after the two-day team-bonding trip to Maine. He had missed a couple of skating days before the team-building exercises. So the 24-year-old defenseman isnt a lock to open the season on a night when the Stanley Cup banner will be raised to the rafters, and Matt Bartkowski will step into McQuaids place if hes not ready to go.
Bs coach Claude Julien said theyll check in with McQuaid during the day, but it appears that it will be a game time decision based on how the big blueliner is feeling.
Hes feeling a little better," Julien said. "He skated this morning and I think were going to monitor how he recovers through the day. Well make a decision on his status closer to the game than now. Felt good enough to get on his skates this morning, and well know how he recovers. That will be a big part of the decision-making.
The lines were as theyve been the last couple of days during morning skate at the Garden, and both Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask went off the ice at the same time. Expect Thomas and his 10-2-2 record and 2.18 career goals against average against the Flyers to get the start. No word on whether Jordan Caron or Benoit Pouliot will start as the third line left winger, but Im tempted to say that Claude Julien will start with Pouliot and go with Caron if the former Habs winger struggles early in the season.