The Boston Bruins boast one of the most versatile group of blue liners in the NHL. Their perfect mix of speed, physicality and offensive instinct help the club compete at a high level on a nightly basis. Despite great regular season success, it was group marred by injury.
Boston unfortunately had to trek through the playoffs without a pair of key veteran defensemen. The Bruins were forced to rotate youngsters and depth defenders in and out of the lineup because of the injuries to Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid.
McQuaid, who is featured in this report card, was a fixture along the backend for Boston during their run to the Stanley Cup in 2011. He had served his purpose as a sixth defender before suffering a season-ending injury this past January. It was just one of many set backs he was faced with over the course of the year.
Playing the role of enforcer, McQuaid backed down from no one. He checked hard, hustled, was reliable in his own end and was always quick to come the aid of a teammate. His heavy style fit that of Claude Julien‘s to a T.
We all know the Bruins would have benefitted from having him healthy during their playoff run, but McQuaid just could not shake the injury bug. As a result of his abscense, rookie Kevan Miller stepped into the picture.
Miller more than adequately filled the shoes of McQuaid, fearlessly throwing his weight around in a similar manner. He received a great deal of playing time down the stretch. Miller’s strong performance has created some uncertainty regarding McQuaid’s future with the black-and-gold.
McQuaid’s recent string of injury issues, coupled with the emergence of younger guys, undoubtedly raise some question marks moving forward.
Peter Chiarelli could buy out his contract or see what he fetches on the trade block. It’s well known how much the Bruins value defensive depth, therefore he could very well make a return. Needless to say, with options on the table, monitoring “Darth Quaider’s” future will be worthwhile.
Final Grade: D