Bruins rookie defenseman Adam McQuaid has looked like a kid in a candy store every day since he was recalled from Providence. The 23-year-old from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, is just happy to be living his dream as an NHL player and he treasures every moment in Boston.
?I?m just happy to be playing in the NHL and be up here with this group of guys and all the talent in the NHL," McQuaid said. "It?s an honor."
On Thursday, against the NHL?s best team, the Chicago Blackhawks, McQuaid will get a chance to showcase his skills as he plays in his fourth game of the season. McQuaid hasn?t played for the Bruins since Dec. 23 against Atlanta, but just as Johnny Boychuk did while he rode the pine as the seventh defenseman for the first quarter of the season, McQuaid treats practices as if they?re games and tries to soak up as much advice as possible.
?I?ve been trying to approach each game as if I was playing,? said McQuaid. ?Keep the same routine, just try to keep focused, and be ready for the opportunity.?
Playing against probably one of the best transition teams in the NHL, McQuaid?s simple style will be just what the Bruins need on Thursday, because if he forces the play and makes a mistake, this Blackhawks team will make him pay for it.
?He?s a pretty simple defenseman — a physical, simple-pass, defensive defenseman that doesn?t do more than he has to,? said head coach Claude Julien. ?If he tries to do too much, he gets himself in trouble. He knows that, so he keeps his game simple.?
McQuaid plans on being as patient as possible on Thursday and in every NHL game he plays.
?I noticed that guys have a lot of patience,? said McQuaid. ?Things happen quick out there, but there may be a little bit more time than you think.?
McQuaid, however, admitted that after not playing for three weeks, nerves will be unavoidable as he faces Chicago. He figures a good knock or two, hopefully as the giver, will help him get into the flow.
?For me, it?s the first body contact that kind of wakes me up and gets me into the game,? said McQuaid. ?The earlier that happens for me, the better.?