BOSTON, MA -- When the B's last met the media, Adam McQuaid admitted that he was dealing with more than an eye injury.
The big Bruins defenseman was actually dealing with a concussion while his teammates toiled against the Capitals in the first round.
"I’m feeling much better," said McQuaid on April 27. "I’m almost feeling like myself again, so I’m obviously happy about that.
"But it certainly was difficult watching."
The first round loss was difficult for everyone in New England, but nobody felt worse than McQuaid.
"It was really hard," said McQuaid, who had a 2-8-10 line in 72 games and was a plus-16. "I think it’s harder watching than it is playing, because you just feel kind of helpless and have no control.
"You play all season to play in the playoffs, and to not be able to is difficult, but obviously I wasn’t feeling well enough to [play]."
I think it's harder watching than it is playing, because you just feel kind of helpless and have no control. - Adam McQuaid
McQuaid said he wasn't sure when the concussion occurred.
"Nothing in particular that I can pinpoint," said McQuaid of his leaving the B's game versus Ottawa on April 5. "I just wasn’t feeling as well as I thought I would.
"It was tough to tell the trainers, but I felt like I had to. We just looked further into it, and you know it’s not something you can necessarily play through - it’s not smart to.
"Hopefully I can play for many more years, and I didn’t want to jeopardize that."
And that's why McQuaid didn't play against Washington in the first round.
"Yeah I think we’ve seen throughout the league not only on this team that it’s something you have to be smart with," said the defenseman, who played 23 playoff games for Boston after the 2010-11 season, and was a plus-13. "And that’s the hardest part to be honest with yourself, especially coming on the end of the season start of the playoffs, it’s definitely not easy.
"If it’s any other injury normally you can play through it, but something like this you’ve got to be smart with."
To make things harder, the blueliner said there were many symptoms.
"Obviously I had the eye stuff going on, and I was kind of more focused I guess on that," said McQuaid. "It was a quick turnaround, I guess, to playing.
"Once I got in the game I mean it’s different playing in games than it is practicing and stuff. I just knew I didn’t feel like myself."
But now that he is feeling more like himself, McQuaid is looking forward to putting an injury-interrupted 2011-12 campaign behind him.
"I think there were a lot of different things going on throughout the season," said McQuaid. "With having a short summer maybe the season’s a little more difficult.
"But I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to complete 100 percent and training hard, and I’m really looking forward to getting things going for next year."