Adam McQuaid didnt practice on Friday after getting pulled in the second period from Bostons Thursday night win over the Ottawa Senators, and he was held out of Saturdays 4-3 shootout win over Buffalo Sabres.
That was the Bs defensemans first game back into the lineup after missing three games with an eye that was swollen shut after smacking head-first into the boards, and he didnt make it more than five minutes into the second period.
Claude Julien has referenced McQuaids absence in vague terms saying the rugged defenseman just doesnt feel right or is a little off, but he also didnt seem overly concerned with his availability for the opening round of the playoffs set to begin on Thursday night. Its far different than Johnny Boychuks situation, however.
Boychuk is expected to be ready to start when the playoffs begin with his knee sprain recovery on a fairly predictable timetable. McQuaids symptoms and status sound much more mysterious when it comes to a predicted return.
It could be Thursday or it could be next week.
I think his situation -- hes got to feel good. Hes just a little off right now, and as long as hes a little off, were not moving forward with him, said Julien. So he might be okay for Thursday, which I anticipate when the playoffs aregoing to start.
But if hes not okay then weve got some other guys. I think the reason weve got that depth was for that reason. We need players to be able to step in whenever needed. So Johnny Boychuks looking good right now, and McQuaid right now is day to day. That could change from one day to the other.
That might be a tad optimistic given that all of McQuaids current difficulties seem to stem from the Jason Chimera charging hit last week, and some of those vague symptoms suffered by the Bs defenseman sound like more than an eye laceration. If McQuaid doesnt feel 100 percent when the Bs playoffs open Thursday against the Capitals then Boston can dip into the defenseman depth they created when Peter Chiarelli dealt at the deadline for Mike Mottau and Greg Zanon.
Now THIS is old-time hockey!
There's bad blood between the Bruins' David Backes and the Stars' Jamie Benn that goes back a long way, most recently in last spring's Dallas-St. Louis playoff series when Backes was still with the Blues. They met again today -- and the ungodly (hockey) hour of 11:30 a.m. Dallas time -- for a nationally televised game between Backes' new team, the Bruins, and the Stars.
And it didn't take long for the two to renew acquaintances . . .
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.