Adam McQuaid on D&K offers a reminder of how weird NHL playoffs would be without fans

Scott McLaughlin
April 17, 2020 - 3:19 pm
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With the 2020 NHL playoffs on hold until further notice, and at risk of being canceled altogether, the best any of us can do is relive postseason memories from previous years.

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One way we've been able to do this is through NESN re-airing games from the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup run each night. (Shameless plug: We've been doing our own take on this by counting down the top 10 Bruins playoff games from the last 10 years.)

Members from that championship team have gotten involved as well, with different players live-tweeting from the Bruins' Twitter account during the broadcasts. On Dale and Keefe Friday, former Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid shared some of his memories from that spring and also discussed the NHL's current predicament and what he thinks of some of the rumored plans for a return.

"I think it's been fun to kind of relive it," McQuaid said. "For me personally, I hadn't rewatched the games. I think part of it was, it was something I felt like I'd probably do down the road. I wanted to just stay focused in the present moment while I was still playing, but I think it's been really fun to kind of relive things a little bit.

"...It's funny watching back, it's almost more nerve-racking to watch it. I'm thinking like, 'Oh, I can't believe I pinched there. I'm lucky I kept that puck. If it went the other way, we would've been in trouble.' I think you're just so focused and in the moment as athletes that you're just doing what you do and focused on the task at hand, so it's definitely different watching it back."

McQuaid, 33, hasn't played in the NHL this season but isn't officially retired either. While he won't be a part of whatever postseason plan -- if any -- the NHL comes up with, he said he has thought about what it might be like, and that one probable aspect of a return has really been put in perspective while rewatching the 2011 run: the idea of playing without fans in the building.

"One part of having rewatched these games from the 2011 run is that it's the atmosphere that makes the games so exciting to watch," McQuaid said. "As players, you feed off that energy and it's a huge, huge part of the game. If nothing else, hopefully when this is all over, athletes will appreciate the fans even that much more than they did before. As awesome as it would be to watch the games, the fans and the atmosphere that they bring is a huge, huge part of the game."

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