By Joe Haggerty
WILMINGTON, Mass. Adam McQuaid missed the final two games of the series against the Philadelphia Flyers after suffering a sprained neck following a scary collision head-first into the Wells Fargo Center boards, but it appears the rangy 6-foot-5 defenseman will be ready to return once the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning begin.Coach Claude Julien said it was "looking good" for a McQuaid return.Veteran defenseman Shane Hnidy played a grand total of 5:15 of ice time in the two games skating in place of McQuaid against the Flyers, meaning Julien basically went to a rotation of five defensemen once McQuaid went down.McQuaid made steady progress after going down and had skated for the first time on Friday in the morning prior to their Game 4 win over the Flyers that capped off the sweep at TD Garden. The hard-hitting defenseman is averaging 12:48 of ice time in the playoffs, and has three assists along with a plus-4 and seven shots on net in nine games thus far in the postseason as one of Bostons six trusted blue liners.The Bruins should be able to go with the highly successful pairings of Zdeno CharaDennis Seidenberg, Andrew FerenceJohnny Boychuk and Tomas KaberleAdam McQuaid against a Tampa Bay team looking to light them up on the scoreboard. Things are looking really good for McQuaid, so hopefully hell be back for the Tampa series, said Julien, as McQuaid skated on the Ristuccia Arena ice Sunday morning with the Black Ace reserves for the Bruins.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
By Joe Haggerty