Rough first game back for McQuaid

BOSTON -- After missing the last four games with a neck injury, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid knew he might be a bit rusty, but he never envisioned a night like he had Thursday in the Bruins’ 2-1 loss to Montreal that dropped them into last place in both the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference. McQuaid was on the ice for the Canadiens’ first goal in the second period and then made an errant clearing pass that led to the game-winner by Tomas Plekanec 10:46 into the third period. He finished at a minus -2 in 14:52 of ice time.

“I was looking, trying to hit ‘Bergy’ [Patrice Bergeron] up the middle there," he said of the gaffe in the third period. "I passed a little too far in front of him and they made a quick transition. So bad pass on my part.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t about to throw McQuaid under the bus after his whole team lacked the effort and intensity to win.

“It’s his first game back,” Julien said. “The way we’re playing right now, it’s too easy to jump on guys, and I’m not going to do that."

McQuaid said he felt good physically but that play and the Bruins’ second straight loss, especially to their bitter rivals, stung.

“I felt good as far as my skating and stuff like that,” he said. “For the most part being in game situations felt pretty good. But obviously I’m not very happy with the end results, so take it with a grain of salt I guess.”

Just as all his teammates were after the game, McQuaid was stunned that the Bruins found themselves in last place in the division and conference.

“It’s definitely not where we want to be or where we envision ourselves being,” McQuaid said. “We don’t want to put ourselves in any more of a hole so we have to make sure we come out ready to play on Saturday, not just with a good first period but a solid full game.”