BOSTON - If there is one thing to be learned from Adam McQuaid's National Hockey League career, it's that he is certainly not short on toughness or grit.
That was made more than clear on Saturday night during the Bruins' 3-2 win over New Jersey at TD Garden. In the closing seconds of the third period, McQuaid was battling along the boards in the Boston end, when he was nicked in the neck by David Backes' skate blade.
McQuaid immediately shook off his glove and dropped his stick to the ice to clutch his neck. But he didn't see any blood. So he did exactly as most would expect Adam McQuaid to do: he kept playing.
The blueliner remained on the ice and attempted to block a shot, before retreating to the locker room for medical attention, where he learned he had a significant cut. Fortunately, McQuaid, who missed Sunday's practice, avoided serious injury.
Video: McQuaid and Cassidy speak after Adam's injury scare
"Initially I didn't see a ton of blood or anything, figured I was OK," McQuaid said following Sunday morning's session at Warrior Ice Arena. "And they didn't blow the whistle. The game was still going on and obviously [it was] an important part of the game. I was pretty helpless without my stick and stuff. But just kind of tried to be an extra body in the way.
"But definitely a really close call. Couldn't help but thank God that it wasn't a scarier situation."
His biggest trouble now is trying to remember just how many stitches it took to sew up the wound.
"I'm going to have to count them," said McQuaid. "I think somewhere around 20-25. I'm getting asked a lot, so I'm going to have to figure that out."
McQuaid expects to be back in the lineup Monday night during the Bruins' crucial Atlantic Division showdown with the Ottawa Senators.
"I should be good to go," said McQuaid, "Obviously barring any unforeseen circumstances."
"He's cleared. So assuming there's no adverse effects from his injury then he'll go back in, for sure," added Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy. "He's a tough customer. I'm not telling you something that you don't already know. It's a scary injury…he even stayed on the ice.
"I'm not even sure he knew what was going on. It was scary, but he got lucky. In an unlucky situation, he got lucky in the big picture. Hopefully it doesn't affect him."
McQuaid is not yet sure if he will wear any extra protection around his neck area moving forward.
"I don't know," said McQuaid. "We'll probably play around with it and see different things. Not really sure what we're going to do."