When you think of the Bruins' toughest players, you probably come up with guys like Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara. One name that doesn't necessarily spring to mind straight away is that of Adam McQuaid, who was second on the team in fights last season if you can believe that. But there's a pretty good reason for that: Adam McQuaid is one of the biggest no-neck punks in the league.
Most people probably don't notice it because of all the other dirty stuff the Bruins do. And also because most of his dirtiest moves have come against the Ottawa Senators — a team no one cares about — like this knee-on-knee hit of Nick Foligno (for which he was fined $2,500), and taking Chris Neil and running him from behind, which everyone just kind of shrugged at because screw Chris Neil.
But the event that really brought McQuaid's ludicrous, shameful on-ice behavior to everyone's attention was earlier this year when he and Shawn Thornton tried to fight Matt Hendricks. At the same time.
Hendricks, not really a fighter himself, wisely shied away from fighting Thornton and instead turned his attentions to McQuaid largely because, after the Bruins thugs circled him like motorcycle toughs in a James Dean ripoff film from the mid-1950s, he saw that was his easiest way out. But that's McQuaid's Bruins career in a nutshell.
He's a pretty bad defenseman (his corsi is typically among the worst on the Bruins despite the fact that he gets the easiest competition), but his job is to fight the guy Shawn Thornton can't be bothered with. What can you even say about a guy like that? Opponents either end up fighting him because they're afraid of Thornton, or because Thornton can't be bothered with punching that guy in the face. That's just sad, right? His most frequent career opponents are Hendricks and Zenon Konopka (thrice) and Troy Bodie (twice). I don't know who Troy Bodie is. Y'know what, actually just go look at the list of no-name non-fighters McQuaid has gone up against in his NHL career. Who the hell is Pierre-Cedric Labrie? As an NHL regular, you have to be embarrassed to have this stuff in your pugilistic history. Travis Moen. Indeed.
He is, it might not surprise you to learn, a moron. That's the only way to describe a guy who repeatedly gets in fights after suffering a concussion and missing seven playoff games last year. His first game back after that injury? An exhibition game in which he got into a tilt with a career minor-league fighter (who wound up leading the AHL in fights this year), and, predictably, got completely worked.
So on the list of things that are not McQuaid's strong suit, we can list "trying not to injure his opponents," "fighting people anyone has heard of," "making good decisions," and "playing defense." All but the last one make him an exemplary Bruin, which makes one wonder why they keep him around. Maybe Thornton just needs the errand boy.