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McQuaid is Ready to Play

The B's rookie defenseman will be in the lineup vs. Chicago

Thursday, 01.7.2010 / 4:07 PM ET / Features
By Samantha Wood  - BostonBruins.com
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McQuaid is Ready to Play
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Boston, MA -- As the Bruins gear up for tonight’s faceoff against the Chicago Blackhawks, one familiar face will be absent on the ice. Defenseman Andrew Ference is expected to be out six weeks with a groin injury he suffered during the Bruins decisive victory over the Senators Tuesday.

Adam McQuaid will replace Ference in tonight’s lineup and is preparing to try and fill the veteran blueliner’s skates.

“I’ve just been trying to keep mentally focused is the biggest thing, and hopefully I’ll be ready come game time tonight,” McQuaid said.

Though the Bruins have their work cut out for them tonight against the powerhouse 30-10-3 Blackhawks, head coach Claude Julien has plenty of confidence in McQuaid, who has played in three NHL games so far in his career.

“We have been pretty fortunate because the guys that have been put in that situation this year, Johnny Boychuk to start and now [Adam] McQuaid, had great attitudes,” said Julien. “Their work ethic is second to none.”

Ference, who missed 35 games last year due to a fractured leg and groin injury and missed 23 games the in the 2007-’08 season has had an undeniable presence on the ice for the Bruins this season. In the last 10 games, Ference has averaged over 19 minutes of playing time and has played in every game so far this season.

But fellow defenseman Matt Hunwick believes that McQuaid will be able to make a quick and comfortable transition into the gap left by Ference.

“Definitely. You know, [Adam has] proved over his professional career that he can play and is a solid defenseman,” Hunwick said. “After being out [of game action] for such a long time maybe it’s a disadvantage to him, but he’s a guy who can step in obviously and play well for us.”

After morning skate today, his fellow back-liners indicated that they are ready to band together and pick up where Ference left off.

“That’s also the chance for other guys to step up and be more vocal,” said B’s captain and defenseman Zdeno Chara. “Even if it’s not their nature, I mean they have to understand that for this team to get going, sometimes different people have to step up.”

Tonight’s probable backup, goaltender Tuukka Rask, agreed that the B’s defense is a cohesive unit that refuses to be undermined by injury or by the opposing team.

As they protect the net, they also protect each other.

“I want to battle for them and they want to battle for us,” said Rask. “They try to do everything they can to not let that puck go in and I think that’s the biggest thing.”

As he prepares for his fourth NHL game, McQuaid says he is simply planning to just remember what he’s learned from the coaches since he’s been in Boston and try not to overcomplicate the game.

“[I will] use my reach, have a good stick, keep things to the other side has kind of been the main points I’ve been given,” said McQuaid. “I guess those are my strengths so you obviously play to your strengths and keep things simple.”

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
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7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
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T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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