Even before Michael Ryder left practice with what Boston Head Coach Claude Julien called "discomfort" and Providence forward Jamie Arniel
was called up on an emergency basis, the Bruins were faced with absorbing the loss of David Krejci
to a concussion.
"It's going to be a challenge, obviously," said Julien to the press gathered in Wilmington's Ristuccia Memorial Arena. "But it's not a challenge we've never faced before.
Exhibit A: Adam McQuaid
Since being inserted into the lineup after the injury to Johnny Boychuk
, defenseman Adam McQuaid
has been a good, steady presence on the B's blueline.
"I think when you're not on the lineup, you have to kind of keep yourself prepared," said McQuaid when asked about his ability to step right in and perform at an NHL level. "I think that's the biggest thing.
"You never know when you'll be called upon, and even within a game, you never know what could happen or how much ice time you're going to get.
"So you just kind of have to be prepared for everything," he said.
Adam's game is called "simple," but that's a big compliment in hockey circles. But even though teammates, coaches and writers have all given positive reviews of his performance and progress, don't expect anything fancy from the big Bruins defenseman.
"No. I just try and kind of approach every game the same, try not to worry too much about things that are being said," said McQuaid. "I mean, that's kind of what's gotten me to where I'm at now, so I just am looking to kind of just...playing my own game."
The Penguins, led by all-world forward Sidney Crosby, are anything but simple.
"They have a lot of offensive power," said McQuaid. "And you know, just like any other top players in the league, you have to kind of try to limit their time and space.
"We know they're going to create things, but if you can limit their chances then you'll be better off in the end."
As far as the proper technique by which to limit the Pens' time and space, McQuaid said he has pretty good mentors in the locker two or three stalls to his right -- the ones with the names Seidenberg and Chara on the nameplate.
"I'm definitely watching what guys do and...they'll give me little pointers," said Adam. "They've played in the league longer and they have a better read on maybe tendencies of players and stuff so they give me a little heads up.
"But you know, I guess in a way, you have to kind of just learn from your experience."
McQuaid will get plenty of experience playing against the likes of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
But McQuaid, who was a healthy scratch for each game before Boychuk went down, is looking forward to tonight's challenge said he's having a blast being on the game roster.
"Oh, yeah. It's definitely beats not being in the lineup and you know, things have been going pretty good for the team here," said McQuaid. "So it's been nice and [it will be] even better here getting back on the winning track."