WILMINGTON, Mass. – Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was back on the ice yesterday, and joined his teammates for a morning practice in Wilmington.
|Boston Bruins right wing Nathan Horton=, center, smiles as he is surrounded by teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the overtime period in Game 7 of a first-round NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff series in Boston, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. The Bruins won 4-3 to a win the series. From left are Bruins' Adam McQuaid, Zdeno Chara, Horton and Milan Lucic. |
McQuaid missed Game 4 on the Eastern Conference Semi-finals with a sprained neck.
During the first period of Game 3, the rookie defenseman crashed headfirst into the TD Garden end boards after missing a check on Philadelphia forward Mike Richards.
Shane Hnidy replaced McQuaid in the lineup.
“He kind of made a nice move and kind of ducked out of the way. To me it just felt like he disappeared, I just crashed into the boards,” McQuaid said of the play.
McQuaid lay on the ice for a few moments after the play before the medical staff came out and his teammates escorted him to the bench.
“It’s just kind of a shock to the system obviously. I wasn’t prepared for it, didn’t see it coming,” McQuaid said.
“When I got my bearings and moved around a little bit, it got much better.”
Bruins head coach Claude Julien said McQuaid had “few limitations” at yesterday’s practice and is hopeful the blueliner should be ready to go for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the start date of the next round yet to be determined, McQuaid is using his practice time to continue to heel and get his feet back under him on the ice.
“I’m feeling much better, progressing well. Hopefully things will just continue the way they are and I will be ready to go.”
Boston completed the sweep of Philadelphia on Friday night, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1992 and giving the team some time off in-between series, something that could only help the injured McQuaid.
“The guys did a great job and gave us a few more days here and that helps too,” said McQuaid.