WILMINGTON – Adam McQuaid is still no lock to get back into the lineup Saturday afternoon against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden.
McQuaid missed the nine games prior to the Olympic break with a leg injury suffered in a Jan. 19 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, and also wasn’t ready for Wednesday night’s game in Buffalo. The rangy, stay-at-home defenseman was excused from practice on Thursday after skating hard for the last week, and a decision should be made on McQuaid's availability as soon as Friday.
“He was given a day off today to get him off the skates because he also skated on Sunday when everybody else got the day off,” said coach Claude Julien. “He’s coming along well, but he hasn’t been cleared yet.
“Saturday is a possibility, and we’ll see. Maybe he will [play], and maybe he won’t. He’s a day-to-day candidate right now, so we just need to wait until he gets his clearance.”
Rookie Kevan Miller continued to play in McQuaid’s spot Wednesday night against the Sabres, and didn’t have his strongest game with a minus-1 rating in 14:46 of ice time. But Miller have a giant hit on Markus Foligno at the end of the second period that knocked the Sabres forward off his skates, and nearly sparked a brawl between the two players until the referees stepped in to break things up.
McQuaid has missed 28 games this season with an assortment of lower body injuries, and the plan seems to be getting the defenseman back into the lineup 100 percent healthy without any more injury problems this season. That’s easier said than done, but the Bruins are a tougher team to play against when McQuaid’s size, strength and toughness are in the lineup.