Adam McQuaid

Adam McQuaid

Adam McQuaid is out 6-8 weeks with a broken thumb, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Wednesday. McQuaid suffered the injury in the second period of Tuesday’€™s win over the Blues when he was hit by a Kevin Shattenkirk shot that went off Chris Kelly.

McQuaid joins Zdeno Chara and David Warsofsky as Bruins defensemen who are currently out with injuries. Kevan Miller and Torey Krug also missed time earlier in the season.

Until suffering the injury, McQuaid had played in 20 straight games, the longest stretch of consecutive play he’€™d had the last two seasons. He was limited to two 15-game stretches in a 2013-14 season that was plagued by lower-body injuries.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, McQuaid had averaged 19:55 per night — the highest of his career by nearly four minutes — for the Bruins, often serving as a top-four defenseman who played against the opposition’s better forwards. He had proven himself to be a key piece of a Boston defense that had multiple players go in and out with injuries.

“It’€™€™s great to be back and a part of things here and being with the guys on a daily basis and being in the same routine,” McQuaid told WEEI.com hours before Tuesday’€™s game. “When you’€™€™re not practicing and playing and traveling, you’€™€™re still at the rink and you still see the guys and stuff, but it’€™€™s not quite the same. I’€™€™m really enjoying that part, being back in and being on the ice. Feeling like you’€™€™re a part of wins is nicer than anything.”

This is the last season of McQuaid’s current contract, which has carried a $1.56 million cap hit for each of the last three seasons. He will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

Both Dougie Hamilton and Brad Marchand missed Wednesday’€™s practice as well. Marchand is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, while Claude Julien told reporters Hamilton is battling the flu.

Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg are the only members of Boston’s opening night defensemen that have played in every game this season. Both players missed significant time last season — Hamilton missed 18 games between multiple injuries, while Seidenberg missed 48 regular-season games and all of the postseason due to a knee injury.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.

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For one of the few times this season, Tuukka Rask felt like the Bruins showed their true potential.

Maybe it was his 33 saves in a 2-0 shutout over the Blues. Maybe it was the better play he saw in front of him in the defensive zone. Or maybe it was just beating a team that could wind up in the Stanley Cup finals. Whatever it was, Rask had a lot to like about the way he and his teammates played Tuesday night at TD Garden.

“Well, it’€™s always a good team we beat, but then again we know when we play the Bruins hockey, we can beat anybody and we’€™re a tough team to beat ourselves,” Rask said. “It just goes to show again, when we play that style of hockey it works. Hopefully we realize it one of these days and keep it consistent too.”

The Bruins were consistent for 60 minutes Tuesday in an effort that handed the Blues just their second loss in 12 games. Rask was asked if it were the best 60-minute effort of the year.

“It was, yeah absolutely,” Rask said. “We started off really hard. Right off the bat we took the puck in their end and played there. The first period was probably the best one, you know, twenty minutes’€”you’€™re always going to get a little ups and downs through the games but for the most part we kept things tight and played a good game.

“I think pretty much everybody was going today, you know, full 60. We’€™re a good team when we have everybody going. As far as the team effort goes, in a 60 minute effort, that was our best game I think.”

Rask could see his forwards joining his defensemen in keeping the puck to the perimeter all night, not letting the Blues get the puck to danger areas.

“It’€™s the same as every game. I just try to give us a chance to win,” Rask said. “As far as the team goes, whenever we play a defense like that and keep them on the outside, for the most part, it makes my job easier and I expect to make those saves. Today that was the case for the most part and helps my job, as I said. It doesn’€™t matter if you play against the best team in the league or the worst team in the league, if you give them chances in the slot, chances are they’€™re gonna score, so today we pretty well eliminated that.

Whenever we didn’€™t turn the puck over in the neutral zone we didn’€™t really give them anything. I think in the third period we kind of got away from our forecheck a little bit and gave them some space there to come up in the rush and stuff and find that late guy, but as far as the net front goes we were really good.”

The judge of a truly great goalie is stopping shots when the pressure is dialed up, as it was in the third period when the Blues outshot the Bruins 15-3. But Rask was more than up to the challenge.

“Third period probably wasn’€™t our best period today,” Rask said. “We started off good but then obviously their D’€™s are gonna join the rush and they’€™re gonna have four or five guys jumping. We gave them too much room in the middle of the ice to make those cross-ice passes and they came in and found the late guy too many times. Something we have to fix I think, but two goal games, or two goal leads are the worst ones in hockey and I feel like I have to stand up and today. Myself and the defense did a good job in front of the net.”

Added Claude Julien, “I think he deserves a lot of credit because he was outstanding for us tonight. But I certainly don’€™t want to diminish the fact that I thought our guys played well tonight against a team that’€™s been extremely hot, extremely good as you can see. No matter how well you play defensively they’€™re still going to get their chances and when they did, Tuukka [Rask] made the big saves. But I liked their effort overall tonight.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Ever since scoring the overtime goal against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of the second round last spring, every Bruins fan knew the kid could score.

But on Tuesday night, they saw a different side of Fraser, the tough, gritty side, giving the Bruins exactly what they needed with Brad Marchand out with an unspecified injury.

Fraser played all 20 shifts with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith as the Bruins beat the Blues, 2-0, at TD Garden.

“Obviously, I like scoring goals,” Fraser said. “I like to be an offensive threat. But you’€™re not going to be that kind of guy every night. There’€™s going to be times when you have to be relied upon to be a defensive, sound player. I think on this team, that’€™s more my ‘€“ it’€™s not my job, but I have to broaden my game a little bit because every guy in this room is good defensively. That’€™s how this franchise has built their system: you got to be good defensively. You got to make sure you’€™re good in all three zones.”

The irony is that Fraser did score a goal – with nine seconds left in the second period – but it was disallowed when referee Chris Lee ruled Fraser slammed into Blues goalie Brian Elliot before Elliot could play the puck.

“To me it should have been a goal,” coach Claude Julien said. “In my mind the puck’€™s in, it hits him, and it goes in before he even touches the goaltender. But those are unfortunately not reviewable, so he gets deprived from a goal. But the other part ‘€“ he deserves a lot of credit for his, he was on the line that played against their top-scoring line and defensively I thought he was very reliable. He played big, he played strong with Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and [Reilly] Smith. I think that line did a great job against the [Vladimir] Tarasenko line.”

What did Lee tell Julien about Fraser’s non-goal?

“Goalie interference, I guess,” Julien said. “That’€™s what the call was for ‘€“ the goaltender didn’€™t get a chance to stop the puck. I mean this is, you know, I go in my office and I look at two or three times in slow motion and say no, I don’€™t agree with that. But he’€™s got to make that call on the ice and then he doesn’€™t get a chance to review it and it’€™s not reviewable. It’€™s tough; it’€™s tough to take. I think again, we’€™ve been on the wrong side of two goals, I think in the last two games. We’€™ve got to suck it up and keep playing here and that’€™s what we’€™re trying to do.”

Without scoring, it was the little things Fraser did that did count. A forecheck of Blues defenseman Ian Cole in the first period forced a turnover that wound up on the stick of Bergeron, leading to the game’s first goal.

“It’€™s one those plays where we want to be harder on our forecheck,” Bergeron said. “Matt Fraser was definitely great on using his speed as [first forward] there on the play and I was trying to follow up to be there and try to have a good read as [second forward] and he caused a turnover and I was lucky enough to get the puck there.

“I think he’€™s a smart player, he’€™s in good position all the time, he wants to learn, he’€™s always asking questions, uses his speed a lot and its not just about his shot, I think, everybody says he has a great shot but it’€™s the way that he plays and the way that he works. Right now, I thought tonight he had a great effort.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Claude Julien offered little update on the status of Adam McQuaid following the Bruins’ 2-0 win over the Blues at TD Garden Tuesday. McQuaid left the game in the second period after appearing to take a puck off the right hand/wrist.

Claude Julien offered little update on the status of Adam McQuaid following the Bruins’ 2-0 win over the Blues at TD Garden Tuesday. McQuaid left the game in the second period after appearing to take a puck off the right hand/wrist.

“I still have to see what it is, and even if I do go see I don’€™t think I’€™ll get the total answer,” Julien said. “[Members of the medical staff] have to have a look at him first and assess the whole thing.”

McQuaid was playing in his 20th straight game, which was longer than any stretch he’d played last season. He was limited to 30 games by a lower-body injury last season, which was split into two stretches of 15 games.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins might need to rely more on Matt Bartkowski going forward.</p>
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It’€™s been rightfully noted here that a lot of the Bruins’€™ wins at home without Zdeno Chara have come against bad teams, so they deserve credit for defeating a very good team at TD Tuesday.

Tuukka Rask earned his first shutout of the season Tuesday.  (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask earned his first shutout of the season Tuesday. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

It’€™s been rightfully noted here that a lot of the Bruins’€™ wins at home without Zdeno Chara have come against bad teams, so they deserve credit for defeating a very good team at TD Tuesday.

Tuesday’€™s game against the Blues could have been a messy affair. The Blues are a well-oiled machine cruising in the much superior Western Conference and had won three straight entering the Garden, but the B’€™s were able to take a 2-0 win (box) against a team leading the Western Conference in points.

What makes the win all the more impressive for the B’€™s was that they did it with more injuries. David Krejci returned to the lineup, but Brad Marchand missed the game with an undisclosed injury, while Adam McQuaid was hurt in the second period and didn’€™t reutn, forcing the Bruins to play most of the game with five defensemen.

The fashion in which the win was accomplished was also impressive. The shorthanded B’s were defensively sound and survived a big third-period push from the Blues as Tuukka Rask earned his first shutout of the season.

The Bruins can take care of their easy games at home, but they also have it in them to beat perhaps the best team in the league right now. Here are four other things were learned Tuesday.

ADAM MCQUAID’€™S HEALTHY STREAK MIGHT BE ON HOLD

Adam McQuaid played in 20 straight games to begin this season, which is a longer stretch of games played than he was ever able to accomplish in his injury-plagued 2013-14 season. That might be coming to an end.

McQuaid left Tuesday’€™s game on his second shift of the second period and did not return. He was hit in the right arm or hand by a Kevin Shattenkirk shot that was blocked by Chris Kelly. McQuaid was shaking his right hand/arm immediately following getting hit. He did not play another shift after that.

The veteran defenseman played two stretches of 15 games apiece last season and did not play again after Jan. 19 due to a groin/quad injury.

MATT BARTKOWSKI HAS GOOD GAMES IN HIM

Kevan Miller was cleared to play in Tuesday’€™s game, but the Bruins opted to keep him in the press box as a healthy scratch against the Blues. Matt Bartkowski stayed in the lineup, playing a second straight game after a mostly positive outing Saturday against the Hurricanes.

Bartkowski was paired with Torey Krug again. He made perhaps the best defensive play of the first period when he stuck with Alexander Steen when the St. Louis blueliner took a pass near the blueline off the rush and took it into the Bruins’€™ zone. Bartkowski stayed with him stride-for-stride and knocked the puck away before clearing it from the zone. That isn’€™t particularly easy to do without having to take a penalty, but Bartkowski’€™s skating and stick allowed him to make the play cleanly.

In the second period, Vladimir was sprung on a breakaway entering the Bruins’€™ zone. Bartkowski couldn’€™t stick with him this time, but dove to poke the puck away. That came after Bartkowski assisted a Torey Krug goal.

The 26-year-old defenseman was also well-positioned in his own zone, a big step in the right direction from his early-season struggles with coverage.

MOST OF PATRICE BERGERON‘€™S GOALS THIS SEASON HAVE COME OFF TURNOVERS

Patrice Bergeron took advantage of a St. Louis turnover when Ian Cole, pressured by Matt Fraser behind the net, blindly reversed the puck. Bergeron jumped on it at the bottom of the right circle and fired it into the net. It was Bergeron’€™s fifth goal of the season, and if it seemed reminiscent of some of his others, it’€™s because it was.

The goal marked the third time this season Bergeron has scored a goal off a turnover in the opposition’€™s zone. Bergeron’€™s first goal of the season came in Detroit after picking off a Jonathan Ericsson pass, while his goal last week against the Devils came off an Eric Gelinas turnover.

TOREY KRUG DOESN’€™T NEED NO STINKIN’€™ SLAP SHOTS

Krug hasn’€™t taken a whole lot of slap shots in his five games since returning from a broken pinky, but a wrist shot paid off in the second period Tuesday.

After taking a pass from Bartkowski, Krug stepped up and fired a wrist shot from just above the left circle that went off Cole and beat Brian Elliot top-shelf glove side. The goal was Krug’€™s first goal since returning from injury and third of the season.

Interestingly enough, Krug does not have a goal on a slap shot yet this season. His goal on Oct. 18 against the Sabres came off a wrist shot, while his power-play tally the next game against the Sharks on Oct. 21 came off a snap shot.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Adam McQuaid hopes David Krejci can return to the Bruins' lineup for good. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Adam McQuaid hopes David Krejci can return to the Bruins’ lineup for good. (Elsa/Getty Images)

David Krejci‘€™s in-and-out-of-the-lineup season hasn’€™t been easy on him or the Bruins, but one teammate doesn’€™t have to look too far back to remember what it’€™s like.

“I can definitely relate,” Adam McQuaid said Tuesday. “It’€™s not easy.”

Krejci has missed a total of nine games this season due to what is believed to be a hip injury-turned-somewhere-else-in-the-lower-body injury. He missed the first three games of the season, returned for nine, sat two, played one and sat the last four. He is nearing his latest return to the lineup and is a possibility to play Tuesday against the Blues.

Though the injuries may not be the same, the frustration of coming back into the lineup only to leave it again is similar. McQuaid suffered a lower-body injury in the 15th game of last season and went on to miss eight games before returning to play 15 more. He came up lame again on Jan. 19 against the Blackhawks and, despite thinking at times that he was nearing a return, did not play another game the rest of the season. The team said they were shutting him down for 2-3 weeks in March due to a quad strain, but the setbacks he had piled up and eventually led to him being shut down for the year and given surgery on another area that needing cleaning up in his ankle.

As McQuaid looks back on his 2013-14 and how he can relate to Krejci, he says the frustrating part is thinking you’€™re ready to go only to find out that you aren’€™t.

“When I went through it, you’€™re trying to gauge where you’€™re at, and you take the proper steps and it’€™s like, ‘€˜OK, I feel good.’€™ Then you try the next thing,” McQuaid said. “Until you try the next thing, you don’€™t know. Sometimes it doesn’€™t go as planned, and then the competitive [aspect] — wanting to push yourself to get back a little bit quicker than you should at times –€” probably doesn’€™t help. It takes a little time.”

This season, McQuaid hasn’€™t had to worry about such uncertainty. He’€™s played in all 19 games for the Bruins thus far ‘€” the longest stretch of consecutive games he’€™s had since the lockout-shortened season ‘€” and has been an important part of a blue line that has lost Johnny Boychuk to a trade and has also lost Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller and Torey Krug to various injuries at points.

There was a time while McQuaid was out last season that it appeared he would ultimately be expendable on Boston’€™s back end, but it has become the opposite. McQuaid, who has played 19:55 a night this season, has taken on the opposition’€™s top-six forwards regularly after serving as a third-pairing guy for the vast majority of his first four seasons when in the lineup.

“It’€™s great to be back and a part of things here and being with the guys on a daily basis and being in the same routine,” he said. “When you’€™re not practicing and playing and traveling, you’€™re still at the rink and you still see the guys and stuff, but it’€™s not quite the same. I’€™m really enjoying that part, being back in and being on the ice. Feeling like you’€™re a part of wins is nicer than anything.”

McQuaid can only hope that the similarities between his 2013-14 season and Krejci’€™s 2014-15 season end now. Krejci is the Bruins’€™ best offensive player and has been a point-a-game player with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his 10 games played this season.

Once Krejci returns, McQuaid has his fingers crossed that everything will be back to normal and that Krejci won’€™t have to experience what McQuaid did a season ago.

“That’€™s the hope,” he said. “I haven’€™t gone into great detail with him about how he’€™s getting along. I mean, we’€™ve talked a little here and there, but again, now is the time if you need the extra time, to take it. At the same time, it’€™s hard. If you’€™re feeling good, you’€™re going to go. If you’€™re feeling good, you’€™re not going to take extra time if you don’€™t feel like you need it. Hopefully when he’€™s back, he’€™s back and back to stay.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean