As told to Jess Isner
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid is keeping a diary for BostonBruins.com during the team’s 11-day road trip through Western Canada and the Midwest. In this edition, he discusses the mindset of the B’s as they hit the road for a long day of travel to Vancouver, how he packs for a long roadie and what it’s like to be back in the city where Boston won the Stanley Cup four years ago.
We’re headed out on the road, and the first stop is Vancouver. It’s our first long road trip since the one that took our team out West at the beginning of December, and I wasn’t able to go on that trip because I was still recovering from a broken thumb. I had to watch it from afar, but it’s good to be back now.
The team is in a different place now than it was back then. Starting at the beginning of January, we were able to kind of just move on from that tough stretch and find our game again. We just took it one game at a time and understood that each game is important, regardless of what happened during the previous one.
That’s what we need to get back to, here. I think it goes without saying that we haven’t been overly pleased with how things have gone lately, and the results we’ve gotten are a result of how we’ve played. We’re looking to get back on track with this road trip, and we can look at it as a bit of a fresh start to try and put the last few games behind us, stay focused and get going again.
Going on the road for 11 days gives you a chance to spend a lot of time with your teammates. It’s an opportunity for some guys like Milan Lucic and Craig Cunningham to go back to areas that are close to home for them, which they don’t normally get a chance to do, so that’s exciting for a lot of guys. We obviously want to play well, and when you go on trips like this and you’re winning games, it can be a lot of fun. We can all feel good about ourselves if we put the work in and get the results.
On a trip like this, you can obviously grow closer as a group. We usually try to go out for dinner together as a group; it’s usually a handful of guys that always go together. I’m not quite sure how much downtime we’re going to have off the ice, so I tried to pack accordingly. I don’t have a huge bag; I just brought a couple of suits, and a few shirts and ties. We spend a lot of time in our suits when we’re on the road, but I brought a pair of jeans and a couple of longsleeve shirts, just in case there’s an opportunity where we’re able to dress down a little bit.
Aside from that, I just brought my computer and a couple of books, and that’s about it. A seven-hour plane ride is a long one, and I was able to sleep for about half of it, so it’s a good opportunity to catch up on some rest. I downloaded a couple of episodes of Scandal, too, and I’m reading a book right now called Living God's Story. It chronicles a little bit of the Bible, so a pretty interesting read.
It will be interesting to be back in Vancouver, where I was fortunate enough to be a part of the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2011. We’ll see what it feels like once we’re actually back there and in that dressing room. I don’t think it’s something that we’ll ever forget about, but at the same time, it’s been a few years now, and it won’t be something that will constantly be running through my head. Winning that Cup will always hold a special place for us, but I think once we get to Vancouver today, we’ll be focused on the game at hand.
We all understand how close the standings are, and the position we’re in. We’re kind of hovering on the edge, and you don’t like that, so every game is important. We say that all year long, but especially coming up to this point in the year, the teams around us are continuing to win, so we have to do the same in order to keep pace — and we have to win even more to keep moving up in the standings.
We’re trying not worry too much about the big picture. Obviously, we need to be aware of it, but we just need to make sure we’re playing our game. Usually when we do that, we get results. Hopefully, we can just carry some momentum from day to day, here, starting on Friday in Vancouver.