McQuaid may return vs. Canadiens

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McQuaid may return vs. Canadiens

BOSTON -- The Bruins certainly had their game faces on at Thursdays morning skate prior to a big game against the Montreal Canadiens, and the skate ended with former Habs forward Benoit Pouliot leading the team stretch ending the session.

The Bruins look like theyre going to stick with Tuesdays practice lines that had Nathan Horton dropping down with David Krejci and Pouliot on the Bs third line, and keeps together a Chris KellyTyler SeguinMilan Lucic combo thats been dynamite for the Black and Gold over the last two games.

Adam McQuaid took part in the skate and looks like he might make his return to the Bs defensemen rotation after missing four straight games with a headneck injury.

Claude Julien said that the possibility of McQuaid seeing time against the Canadiens Thursday is "very good."

Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice at the morning skate session normally a sign of that nights starter between the pipes but Tim Thomas followed quickly after Rask, and the Bs coaching staff has been known to play around with that tradition when gamesmanship can serve them best.

So theres no real determination to be made about the starting goalie until one of them jumps over the boards to lead the rest of the Bruins for the warm-up skate prior to tonights pivotal Bruins-Habs tilt.

Bruce Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity' in times of adversity

Bruce Cassidy: Bruins 'have got to have a stronger mental capacity' in times of adversity

BOSTON – While there were some warning signs over the last few weeks that the Bruins might be getting away from their game, it didn’t really hit home until Thursday night’s frustrating loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

The Bruins blew through three different one-goal leads in the second period in the 6-3 loss to the Bolts at TD Garden, and each time surrendered a tying goal to Tampa in less than two minutes after initially scoring. It was a clear indicator that the Bruins weren’t fully focused on the task at hand despite having already lost three games in a row, and that their ability to bounce back from adversity is going away from them again. 

That much was obvious when the bottom dropped out in the third period, and Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Kucherov turned into a two-man Lightning wrecking crew outscoring the Bruins by a 3-0 margin in the final 20 minutes. 

“I think the frustration is more in-game, where we’ve got to have a stronger mental capacity to handle those [challenging] situations in-game. Let’s face it, when you get on a bit of a losing streak, all those things creep in, whether it’s in October or whether it’s in March,” said Bruce Cassidy. “You have doubts, you start pressing, and again, it’s my job to alleviate the kind of attention in those situations.

“But, as I told you, we all have to be accountable and be responsible for ourselves, and that’s where we just need to have better focus and better discipline in those areas. It was there when it was 3-3 [on the scoreboard]. We’ve got to push back after they score, and that’s where I thought we started to come apart a little bit where we should’ve stuck together and stuck with the program. [We needed to] get ourselves slowly back into the game. We had 10 minutes to even the score, and we weren’t able to do it.”

Clearly this wasn’t just the coach alone in his pointed observations, however, as the lack of focus showed unfortunately in a rudderless second period for the Black and Gold where they couldn’t gain any separation from Tampa Bay despite scoring three goals. 

“[It’s] not being focused, not being sharp, and obviously at this time of the year it’s unacceptable, and it’s up on us to be better,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “Those kinds of situations shouldn’t happen. So, for sure, we need to address those things and hold each other accountable.”

One thing is clear: The Bruins have a lot of work to do if they hope to avoid the same kind of late season tailspin that doomed them each of the last two seasons, and already seems to be happening over their last four losses to varying levels of hockey talent. 

Talking points: Tuukka Rask wasn't good enough vs. Lightning

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Talking points: Tuukka Rask wasn't good enough vs. Lightning

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.