"They’re day-to-day," Head Coach Claude Julien said following the skate. "[Adam] kind of re-aggravated his injury when he came back. Was 100% and he re-aggravated it a little bit so managing that."
"With Torey, when I say day-to-day, it’s more about managing the situation because of the amount of days off we have, so we hope to see him back on the ice tomorrow [on Wednesday] or for Thursday’s game."
McQuaid made his return from a lower-body injury on November 27 in Detroit, and played in the Bruins' most recent two wins over the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets. The injury had kept him out for eight straight games. He's never experienced an injury like it, and has said it's been a different experience to manage on a day-to-day basis.
With Krug, the extent of his situation was not divulged, but from the sound of it, the defensman took more of a 'maintenance' type day on Tuesday.
With McQuaid and Krug both "day-to-day," the Bruins had recalled blueliner Kevan Miller from the Providence Bruins on Monday evening.
It was a quick trip down to Providence for Miller. He made his NHL debut in the Spoked-B on November 21 against St. Louis, staying for a three-game stint with Boston, before being assigned last Thursday, November 28.
"I learned a ton. I think every day you kind of learn something new from the guys up here," said Miller, who slid easily into the Bruins' locker room the first time around, making it an even more comfortable transition for his second recall.
"They helped me out a lot and a number of things I can bring down to Providence so I’m just trying to work on those and be ready."
"I got some confidence up here and then brought that down and then hopefully if I get the call, I’ll be ready to go."
"Steady" was the word most used to describe Miller and his time up with the Boston, especially from Julien.
The Captain, too, as it turns out.
"He was a very steady defenseman," said Zdeno Chara, following the team's practice. "He skates well, he moves the puck well, he sees the ice well, just a very steady calm defenseman that you can always rely on in any kind of situation."
Steady? Stingy? You'll Get the Call
A look at the Bruins' defense corps shows veterans like Captain Zee, the emotional leader; the gritty Dennis Seidenberg, tough-as-nails Johnny Boychuk and stay-at-home mainstay Adam McQuaid. Like Boychuk, Matt Bartkowski bided his time in Providence before making the jump. Dougie Hamilton was a high-end draft pick, making the transition to the NHL. Meanwhile, blueliners like Torey Krug and Kevan Miller went undrafted, finished out their college careers and signed with Boston.
It doesn't matter how you got to don the Spoked-B.
"It starts from the top. We’re a group of people, we don’t care where you were drafted – whether you’re a first round or you’re a free agent or whatever – if you are deserving of playing and that night if you’re deserving of a call-up, you’re going to get it," said Julien.
"If you’re deserving of getting more ice time, you’re going to get it. It all revolves around your play and there’s so many things that have happened in our game from guys being probably free agents to probably becoming Hall of Famers and all kinds of things."
"So we don’t judge individuals by where they’re drafted more than by their play," said Julien, in reference to Miller. "And he’s played well enough to earn that ice time when he’s had to."
While Boston's blueline has its offensive weapons and skating, and takes risks pinching, it still centers around one mindset that makes it one of the toughest in the league: play steady.
"We try to implement that in our system as much as we can. We’re a really strong, stingy, physical and puck moving D-corps," said Chara. "So we try to improve every time we have a chance and hopefully we keep doing that."
Marchand, Bruins Making Use of Off Days
With four days off before their next game on Thursday night in Montreal, the Bruins stayed off the ice Monday before getting back into skating action with a high-tempo practice on Tuesday morning.
One Bruin with noticeably extra jump was winger Brad Marchand, who sniped one past Tuukka Rask during battling drills to end practice. It brought out stick taps and cheers, before the group gathered for a center-ice stretch, led by, who else after that shot? No. 63.
As the locker room opened to media following the skate, in swaggered Brad, feeling fine from a good day at work.
"It's always nice to get a couple days off, you get some rest, and everyone was excited about practice today and they came in and worked hard," smiled Marchand. "It was a fast practice and we had fun with it."
"I think the better you feel in practice, you’re going to carry that into games and I think right now I’m feeling pretty good."
"It's a welcome situation for us," said Julien. "Playing eight games in 14 days took its toll and I think this four-day break was a real good break for us."
"Obviously after this, we’re back on the road again playing every second night so it’s going to be a tough schedule here for the next week and a half."
The Bruins will play in Montreal Thursday, then host Pittsburgh on Saturday, before a four-game road swing through Toronto and Western Canada.
"It starts I think with these few days we have," said Zdeno Chara, of the rare time to rest.
"At practice, we have to keep those practices really high tempo, good intensity, work hard, and that’s the best way to prepare for these coming up games."
Big Zee was the first one on the ice Tuesday morning, taking rounds of slap shots.
"We can’t really be complacent with what we’ve done; we have to look ahead and those games waiting for us are tough games and tough opponents."