BOSTON -– Adam McQuaid won't be in the lineup for the Bruins Tuesday against the Penguins, missing his third game since being driven into the boards behind the Boston net by Washington's Jason Chimera last Thursday.
But McQuaid is close to returning, and joined his teammates for the morning skate Tuesday at the Garden.
"I think I'm cleared to play," McQuaid said. "It's the same thing as always, just be ready and when I get back in the lineup I'll do everything I can to stay there."
McQuaid's spot should be safe with the physical element and steady defensive play he brings to the game. But with the Bruins having clinched the division title and locked up the No. 2 spot in the East and having nine defensemen on the roster, there's no need to rush McQuaid's return.
"We're just playing it safe with him," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He would be good to go if need be and he would be playing with a visor, but I think these extra two days will be better for him."
McQuaid wore a visor for the morning skate, and that will remain on for the time being, but it doesn't appear that it will become a permanent addition to his equipment.
"It looks like for at least the rest of the week," McQuaid said.
Still, McQuaid knows how fortunate he is to have his sight back after being limited to seeing out of just one eye for several days.
"Today is really good," McQuaid said. "Sunday night was when it really started to open up. It was two or three days where it was pretty well swollen shut. In the last couple days it's come a long way."
The cut was nasty enough that McQuaid had trouble recalling how many stitches it took to close.
"It was five on the inside, then I don't know, someone told me there were 13 on the outside, so 18 I guess, but I actually haven't counted them," McQuaid said. "It was a pretty deep cut, right to the bone."
Despite the seriousness of the cut, McQuaid was relieved the injury was not worse, as he suffered no permanent damage to the eye and avoided a concussion.
"That's always a concern in situations like that," McQuaid said.
Dangerous hits have become a growing concern in the game as well, but McQuaid is looking to move on from any potential controversy over Chimera's hit.
"It's over and done with," McQuaid said. "You move on from it. I probably didn't help the situation with the way I kind of turned. He was coming at me with a lot of speed. I was reading him coming on more of an angle toward more as opposed to straight down. So, just move on."
While the visor will offer temporary protection on the ice, McQuaid also plans to wear some protective headgear away from the rink as well. After all, it will help shield others from the sight of his cut until it's fully healed.
"I can wear a hat, so at least I'm not scaring kids when I'm out walking on the street and stuff," McQuaid joked.