WILMINGTON — The Bruins blue line was healthy for less than a week. It was just six days ago that Dennis Seidenberg made his return to the lineup, joining Adam McQuaid, who had gotten back two days earlier. But now the Bruins again will be without their full complement of defensemen as McQuaid will not go on their trip to Montreal.
In last Saturday’s contest against the Blue Jackets, McQuaid reinjured the hip/groin that had kept him out of eight games. And though the Bruins will have had four days of rest between that game and Thursday’s against the Canadiens, that apparently won’t be enough for McQuaid.
“He’s not even going to make the trip,” confirmed coach Claude Julien.
The rest, though, did seem to help another member of the Bruins defense. Both McQuaid and Torey Krug had missed Tuesday’s practice, but Krug was back on the ice Wednesday morning before the team flew to Montreal. The Bruins had recalled Providence defenseman Kevan Miller on an emergency basis Monday evening.
“Doing well,” Julien said of Krug. “You saw him on the ice today. He’s fine. Those couple of days really helped him out a lot.”
Krug said he was “just going day-by-day” and that he would still need to get word from the coaching staff as to whether he’d be on the ice for his first regular-season trip to Montreal and his first dip into the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry.
“It was good,” Krug said of the practice. “Get a nice couple days of rest, and get back at it today, get out there, skate around and move a bit.”
And good, too, that he still has a chance (unlike McQuaid) to face the Canadiens.
“I’m excited,” said Krug, whose last rivalry was his Michigan State Spartans against Michigan. “The guys talk about it a lot. I had a preseason opportunity to play there, and it was a lot of fun, even in preseason.
“I know it’s going to be high-energy. They’re playing great hockey right now, and we’re playing well, too. It’s going to be a lot of fun playing there.
“It’ll kind of bring me back to some of my college days. It’ll be a treat, for sure.”
The Bruins have a pair of games this week that could change the order in the Eastern Conference standings. First they take on Montreal in what could be a fight for first place in the Atlantic Division, pending the outcome of the Canadiens’ Wednesday night game in New Jersey. And then they face Pittsburgh, which slipped into first place in the conference with the Bruins idle. “I think that’s what people want to see,” Julien said. “They want to see games with meanings, and those kind of situations do create that. So it’s great. I think it gives us, as well, more excitement and more reasons to want to be good. That’s what keeps you going, that’s what keeps you on your toes, is the fact that you have some competition around you and no doubt takes away the complacency that can creep into your team. Right now we’re in that situation where we can’t afford to take some nights off.”