Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Why Adam McQuaid is in for Nick Holden tonight

Ty Anderson
March 08, 2018 - 12:48 pm

Just like every other deadline addition thrown into the Black and Gold’s mix, defenseman Nick Holden wasted no time in showing the Bruins what he can do.

In just three games, the 6-foot-4 defender played on both the left and right side (something he did in New York), contributed three assists (one in every game), peppered 11 shots on goal, and logged at least 20 minutes of time on ice in two of his three games.

But Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy has elected to take the versatile Holden out of the lineup for Thursday’s head-to-head with the Flyers in favor of Adam McQuaid.

“McQuaid is going in with Torey Krug,” Cassidy confirmed after the morning skate at TD Garden. “We’re trying to keep everyone involved. I liked Nick’s game the other night. Bigger team in Philadelphia, so I think it’s a good matchup [for Adam].

“And he’s sat a few games, so he’ll go back in.”

On top of the Flyers being a 'bigger' team, Cassidy likely wants McQuaid in action because of Philly's power play, which will arrive to Boston with the seventh-most power-play opportunities in all of the NHL, including the fifth-most opportunities on the road (and fifth-best road power-play percentage on the season). McQuaid, of course, comes into action averaging 1:54 of shorthanded time on ice per contest. 

Regardless of the reason, a return to action is great news for the 31-year-old McQuaid, a healthy scratch in four straight games after posting a minus-3 in 15:10 of a 4-1 loss to the Sabres on Feb. 25, but comes with an undeniably tough conversation for Cassidy to have with Holden.

“I hate that about the job. It’s the worst part of it,” Cassidy, whose rotational juggling has been made slightly easier with injuries to Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy (as well as a suspension to David Backes), admitted. “But that’s the way it goes sometimes. Nick’s a good pro, and he understands Adam was a big part of this team when he got here. So I think he’d be upset if he sat for a long stretch, but he understands.”

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