Part of the reason the Bruins needed to acquire defensive depth at the trading deadline was the loss of Dennis Seidenberg for the year. Another part was the uncertainty of Adam McQuaid’s status for the rest of the season, with the defenseman having been off the ice since aggravating a quadriceps injury Jan. 19.
McQuaid has not played since then. And word came Wednesday from general manager Peter Chiarelli that he won’t be playing again in the near future.
Chiarelli said McQuaid will be shut down for 2-3 weeks with his quad strain, the Bruins taking a wait-and-see approach to what he’ll be able to give them the rest of the season.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Adam,” Chiarelli said. “We’re going to shut him down for 2-3 weeks. His injury, while it keeps healing, he has setbacks. We’re going to just give him rest, 2-3 weeks, and see where it is after that.”
The GM would not speculate on what could happen after that period if the injury does not heal.
“He’s got a quad strain, and he was really close — you’ve heard Claude [Julien] say about him being like ready to go and stuff, and he had good sessions over the Olympic break — he just re-aggravated it,” Chiarelli said.
“We had something similar with Jared Knight last year. We just basically shut the player down for a couple weeks, and just rest, and he came around. That’s what I would expect would happen.”
But with that far from guaranteed, it was important for the Bruins to find healthy bodies on the defensive side. Kevan Miller has been filling in more than adequately for McQuaid for much of the season, but the Bruins have not been carrying an extra defenseman.
That will change Thursday, when the Bruins are expected to get the newly acquired Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter in town.
Nemesis joins Montreal
Montreal is never an easy opponent for the Bruins. Neither is Thomas Vanek.
Now, with the Canadiens acquiring the Islanders’ Vanek before the trade deadline, the Bruins might just have a more difficult road through the playoffs. Montreal, which sits second to Boston in the Atlantic Division, is a potential second-round opponent.
“He’s always played well against us, and Montreal’s always a tough team,” said Gregory Campbell. “It’s going to be a good challenge for us. He’s a good player and with that offensively skilled team, he’ll fit in pretty well with them.
“Anywhere he goes, he’s going to challenge the opposition, so it’s just another guy that we’re going to have to contend with. But that’s fine.”
Vanek has played 53 games against the Bruins, most as a member of the Sabres, and has scored 30 goals (14 on the power play) and added 31 assists — more than a point-per-game average. He’s a plus-21 against Boston. Those are the best numbers Vanek has against any opponent.
Meanwhile, Chiarelli said he was “in and out” on some of the bigger names on the offensive front, though he did not pull the trigger on a trade for a forward.
Heel ails Eriksson
The day after Loui Eriksson sat out a game against the Panthers, the forward was again not on the ice with the team for practice at Ristuccia Arena, though he was at the rink. His absence was due to a “very minor” heel injury, Chiarelli said. “A little infection in the heel that got aggravated when you put his heel in the boot,” said the GM. “So, no, we weren’t trading him. He was just taking the heel out of the boot. He should be fine for [Thursday vs. Washington].”
Julien was at the Olympics with Martin St. Louis and Steve Yzerman on Team Canada, and said he did not sense a rift between the two. But Yzerman made the divorce final Wednesday, sending the Lightning captain — whom he initially left off the Canada roster — to the Rangers in exchange for their captain, Ryan Callahan . . . While a number of teams signed players to extensions in the past day or two, leading up to the trade deadline, Chiarelli said that wasn’t something the Bruins explored with any of their players, including unrestricted free agents Jarome Iginla, Shawn Thornton, and Chad Johnson. The Bruins also have Torey Krug, Reilly Smith, Matt Bartkowski, and Jordan Caron as restricted free agents . . . With nine defensemen (including McQuaid), Chiarelli said he wasn’t seriously looking at any more additions.