WILMINGTON — The frustration could easily have boiled over for Adam McQuaid. He has suffered lower-body injuries three times, on Nov. 9, Nov. 30, and again on Jan. 19, for three separate stints out of the lineup. And that’s just this season.
McQuaid’s five-year career has already contained more than his share of injuries, leading to more time out of the lineup than either he or his team would like. He remains out now, with no set return date, despite being able to rest through the Olympic break.
Still, the 27-year-old has done his best not to wade into self-pity, even as he has missed 27 games — and counting — this season.
“It’s not easy for anyone to go through,” McQuaid said on Saturday. “I think I’m lucky, I think I’ve been in the right mind-set right now to go through something like this. I’ve stayed really positive with it. Again, it’s a tough situation, but . . . I control what I can.
“Every time I’ve come back I’ve hoped that that was going to be the end of it, but it’s hockey and things happen and so it goes in life.”
Since his latest injury — in Chicago against the Blackhawks — McQuaid has missed a month. He began skating in the last days before the Olympic break, but was not allowed to skate over the break, with the Bruins wanting to be there to monitor any on-ice work. He was instead given a program that would hopefully set him up to skate with the team after its return. He has participated in practices for each of the last three days.
“I’m just trying to heal up and do everything that I’m advised to do,” McQuaid said.
“When you’re more positive, you tend to heal quicker, and you want to be upbeat and positive for your teammates. Nobody wants a guy moping around the room.”
With all the time he’s missed to various ailments over the last couple of seasons, McQuaid has “gotten better with realizing that at times injuries are a part of the game.”
“It’s tough for an individual,” assistant coach Doug Jarvis said. “I’m sure he wants to build consistency into his game and that becomes tough when you’re in and out of the lineup. It’s hard to do that, it’s hard to build the consistency and the confidence in your game, but hopefully when he gets back in here, he’s healthy and ready to go and can start to get the game in consistent order and play well.”
Meanwhile, McQuaid is just trying to get back on the ice, still shaking off the rust. He was expected to skate by himself on Sunday, even with the team taking the day off. He continues to be day-to-day, a designation that stretches back more than a month, though he said he hopes to be back for Wednesday’s game in Buffalo.
“You can’t control everything, but we’re hoping that this is going to be the end of it,” McQuaid said. “I’ve said that every other time as well, but we’ve been really cautious with it and this time I’ve really got a good chance to take a break from skating and really focus on healing and get my strength back. So that’s been an area that maybe we weren’t quite able to do as much last time, so hopefully that’ll be a bonus.”
Rask takes bronze
Tuukka Rask returned to goal for Finland in its bronze-medal match against the United States on Saturday, getting the shutout with 27 saves in the 5-0 win. The Bruins goaltender had missed the team’s semifinal matchup with Sweden because of illness. Finland lost that matchup, but came back to capture the bronze. “He’s such a good goalie,” Brad Marchand said. “He’s obviously one of the top in the world and he’s showing that over there right now. He’s kind of shooting himself in the foot. We expect that [level of play] every game when he gets back. Hopefully, he can bring it.” Rask had a 3-1-0 record with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage in the Olympics . . . Daniel Paille missed the final period of the Bruins’ final game before the Olympic break, against Ottawa, because of an injury, but he said it was mostly a precautionary situation. “That was just an unfortunate incident,” Paille said. “I ran into [Chris] Neil on that last shift there. I just had a little bit of pain and they weren’t sure where it was coming from, so they just took me out for precaution.” He said he was able to do his workouts in Florida on vacation as scheduled the day after the game . . . The Bruins assigned Justin Florek and Matt Lindblad to Providence on Saturday. The players were up to practice with the team in the absence of the team’s Olympians . . . The Bruins were scheduled to get back to practice on Monday.