WILMINGTON, Mass. — Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was back at practice on Tuesday, a little banged up from his tumble into the boards courtesy of Philadelphia’s Jody Shelley on Saturday, but thankful not to have been more seriously injured.
“I was a little stiff, a little sore, but nothing too serious,” said McQuaid after the workout at Ristuccia Arena. “Nothing probably any more than what anyone else is dealing with. I’m not more banged up than anyone else. I felt pretty good out there.”
McQuaid was sent crashing into the boards with a shove in the back by Shelley on an icing behind the Bruins’ net 5:08 into the second period of Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss. He stayed down for several minutes before skating gingerly to the locker room, but he returned to finish the game.
With the Bruins getting Sunday and Monday off, McQuaid didn’t even miss a day on the ice and is expected to play Wednesday night in Buffalo when the Bruins open a quick two-game road trip.
“He’s still a little stiff, but not stiff enough to keep him out of the lineup or keep him out of practice,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “He still feels the effect of that hit. It’s still there, but he’s a tough individual and he’s battling through it to the point where I don’t think it’s really going to be a factor as far as affecting his game.”
Shelley, however, won’t be in the lineup for the Flyers in their games Tuesday against Pittsburgh and Wednesday at Montreal, as he was suspended for two games for the hit.
So did McQuaid feel that was enough of a punishment for the reckless play?
“I think so,” said McQuaid. “I think you see in the league now guys know in those situations to kind of let up. I don’t think anyone is going to intentionally do that. I don’t think he intentionally wanted to do that. I think it’s just the nature of the situation with the icing. [The league is] almost forced to set a precedent to make sure that guys are making sure they’re careful in those situations.”
Julien was more guarded in his assessment when asked if he was satisfied with the two-game ban.
“Satisfied? I mean, they obviously took it seriously enough to suspend him, and you’ve got to respect that,” said Julien.
The incident has once again raised calls for the NHL to adopt a no-touch icing rule to prevent races for the puck that can lead to such dangerous plays, but McQuaid isn’t quite on board with such a change.
“I don’t know,” said McQuaid. “There’s no-touch icing in junior, and it does change the game a little bit. I’m not sure if it’s necessary. I think guys are pretty good with it now, with being careful in those situations. I guess if they feel it’s necessary they could do it, but I don’t think right now there’s a big reason to change anything.
“We’re playing hockey here,” added McQuaid. “There’s lots of situations where there’s contact and you can get hurt. It might be something to look at down the road, but I think things are all right the way they are.”