WILMINGTON, Mass. --
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk
gave full marks to his would-be replacement on Monday and said that Adam McQuaid
will do just fine.
"I talked to him for a bit yesterday," said the injured Boychuk while the rest of the club practiced. "I know he’s going to do well. He always does."
McQuaid talked about filling in for Boychuk after the B's skating session.
"It's not the way you want to get in, but I’ve been trying to stay sharp in practice," said McQauid. "Injuries are a part of the game, and chances were...at some point in time, someone wasn’t going to be able to play, so I’ve just been trying to stay prepare and be ready when I get the chance."
There was no denying the excitement that McQuaid felt as he prepared for Thursday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"Well, you know, I’ve been itching to get in," said McQuaid. "I haven’t gotten a chance to play a regular season game this year, so I’m just...looking forward to it.
"There's some big shoes to fill with Johnny, but hopefully I can step in."
McQuaid was asked what, if any advice, Boychuk had given in anticipation of Adam's return to the lineup.
"He said I’ve got my chance to step in and a good chance to play, so that’s pretty much it," said McQuaid, who explained that he used Boychuk's experience as the B's seventh defenseman early last season as a way to buoy himself as he waited his turn.
"I just kind of looked at what he did last year," said McQuaid. "It was a good way to keep myself in a positive mind frame, and if at the end of the day, I can do what he did last year, I’ll be pretty happy."
McQuaid said that he had used practice as a means to stay sharp.
"That’s really all you can do," said McQuaid. "It might be a little bit different when I get out there, but I’ll just have to adjust.
"I mean I’m sure it might take one or two shifts, but I’m hoping that the extra work I’ve done in practice will, you know, give me the best chance to get out there and jump right in."
B's head coach Claude Julien said that he had confidence in the club's depth.
"We’ve got some quality players that have been on the sideline for a while now that get an opportunity to play," said Julien. "Adam McQuaid
, every time he’s played for us, as far as I’m concerned, has never cost us [with his] simple, but you know, solid play and we have confidence and he can step in and do the job.
"That means that other players are probably going to get a little bit more ice, but that’s an opportunities for everybody to take advantage of, and this is an opportunity to show that no matter what happens...we’re still a team and we’re still a good team that’s going to stick together."