McQuaid keeps it simple, scores first goal of season


McQuaid keeps it simple, scores first goal of season

BOSTON -- Keep it simple, Adam McQuaid tells himself.

Its an important message to stand by when going up against a teams top line and they just so happen to be the team that drafted him six years ago.

Yes, keeping it simple pays off.

Not only did McQuaid score his first goal of the season in the second period to tie the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at one apiece, he played against their top line in the Bruins 2-1 shootout victory on Thursday at TD Garden.

Adams a big guy and he had played against top lines, said coach Claude Julien. Theyre a big, heavy team, so we needed a good physical presence up there. And I feel Adams been playing better the last few games, as far as handling the puck and making better decisions all around on getting beat back to the net and those kinds of things that were haunting him a little bit there earlier.

Hes been a better player for us, and it was nice to see him play well tonight and score the goal that got us back in the game.

After playing in the Blue Jackets organization, McQuaid knew what to expect coming into the game. He spoke Thursday morning about his early encounters with Rick Nash -- I remember doing one-on-one drills and I couldnt believe how strong he was, he recalled. So when it came time for action and Johnny Boychuk was out of the lineup, he was ready for whatever was coming his way.

Its nice to have that opportunity to be relied on, he said. When you get the chance you want to make sure you make the most of it, show that you're capable, and without over-thinking things too much. That was really just my mindset.

McQuaids focus was keeping the Blue Jackets off the scoreboard. Small missteps could prove costly, particularly in a game that came down to a shootout.

Keeping it simple always is a priority, but especially when youre playing against other teams' best players, turnovers they can capitalize on and turn around and make an offensive opportunity out of pretty much nothing, he said. So its really important to make sure you limit your turnovers and just try to play strong defensively, and that was what I was trying to do.

Zdeno Chara, who played on the line with McQuaid, has noticed changes in his teammate this season. He has seen an improvement in his footwork, shot, and vision. After battling through a neck injury and illness, McQuaid is finding his rhythm again.

He stepped up, said Chara. Hes playing against top lines and playing really solid, keeping the plays really simple, and again, he took really some good shots. He scored a goal off that and hes just a really solid defenseman that you can rely on.

McQuaid looks to constantly improve his game, keeping his main focus on skating and puck skills. He has benefited from the experience of last season and uses that to help the Bruins.

That goes for when he plays against any opponent, not just the one that drafted and traded him away.

Said McQuaid, Even though at the time I was drafted I couldnt see myself playing anywhere else, now being in Boston I cant see myself being anywhere else.

Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?


Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving The Walking Dead credit for delivering a pile driver to me as a TV viewer last night. I did not see all of that coming.

*Plenty of questions and answers about the Calgary Flames as they’ve looked a little shaky in the early going this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has the Edmonton Oilers straightening things out after the brutal loss to Buffalo.

*NHL captains like Steve Stamkos carry the heavy weight of tradition on their shoulders as they go about their business.

*The Hockey News wonders if Patrice Bergeron is the best defensive forward to ever play in the NHL. I’m certain he’s in the conversation, but that’s a big, bold statement that deserves some heavy consideration. After all, he never had to defend Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe or any other number of offensive stars. I certainly think he should be in the select club he would join if/when he wins his fourth Selke Trophy.

*Minnesota D-man Matt Dumba was nearly scratched by the Minnesota Wild, and he says that he’s never going to let that happen again.

*The Anaheim Ducks placed Simon Despres on long term injured reserve as they try to stay afloat salary cap-wise, and avoid dealing off a player in-season.

*For something completely different: The Boston Celtics break ground on a new practice facility adjacent to the new Bruins place.

Bruins recall Subban, Khudobin leaves practice early


Bruins recall Subban, Khudobin leaves practice early

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The B’s goaltending carousel continued on Monday with young netminder Malcolm Subban getting recalled by the NHL club on emergency recall after Zane McIntyre was sent back down to the P-Bruins on Sunday.

Subban started on the ice with the rest of the team at Monday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena along with Anton Khudobin, but the Russian backup goalie departed the ice early from Monday’s practice presumably with some kind of injury. 

Claude Julien said the Bruins would roll with whatever punches get thrown their way in the form of goalie injuries, but it’s reaching DEFCON danger levels if the Bruins are forced to start a goalie in Subban that’s been pulled in two of his four AHL appearances.

“Khudobin got injured and couldn’t practice with us, but I haven’t heard anything yet [on an update],” said Julien. “This is hockey. We deal with it on daily basis with the injuries. We wait for the news and then it’s about doing your job as it’s required. If we have to make some adjustments and have some different personnel, then we’ll deal with it when we have more of an update. Tuukka is still day-to-day, so nothing is changed there.”

Subban has been pulled from two of his four starts for Providence this season, and the former first round pick is 0-3-1 with 4.50 goals against average and .846 save percentage after coming back from last season’s fractured larynx injury.

Tuukka Rask was once again absent from the practice ice, and hasn’t skated with the team since last playing in Thursday night’s win over the New Jersey Devils while clearly dealing with a lower body injury. So the Bruins ended Monday’s practice with only Subban between the pipes, and a swiss-cheese-like blue shooting tarp covering the other net for the B’s shooters.

With that in mind, here are the line combos and D-pairings for Monday’s practice with the Minnesota Wild coming to town on Tuesday:







Liles-C. Miller



Khudobin (left early)