McQuaid looks to play against Lightning


McQuaid looks to play against Lightning

By Joe Haggerty 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.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: