BOSTON -- Bruins defenseman Mike Mottau skated off the ice after warm-ups prior to the Bruins’ 4-3 loss to the Capitals on Saturday thinking he would be paired with Adam McQuiad again on the blue line. But after Bruins forward Benoit Pouliot told head coach Claude Julien that he couldn’t play due to a lower-body injury he suffered last Tuesday against Toronto. Mottau was told by Julien that he would be playing forward instead.
“I took warm-ups, ready to play, and ‘Pou’ [Benoit Pouliot] couldn’t play and they needed me up front so I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team win,” Mottau explained.
Mottau, who said he had played some forward in the AHL and in squirts, skated eight shifts for 6:52 on ice alongside center Gregory Campbell and right winger Shawn Thornton, and after the game he explained the adjustments he had to make on the fly.
“It’s definitely a little bit more difficult than it looks,” Mottau said. “Us D men usually give the forwards a hard time and the forwards give us a hard time back there, so now I understand what they go through. Just a little different positioning, not as much the play in front of you, it’s more around you. It took me a couple of shifts to get used to it, you know overall just tried to keep it simple.”
Julien said he was pleased with Mottau’s willingness to help his team and that overall he felt the Quincy, Mass., native adapted well.
“We talked to him; he’d played up there before and the good thing about defensemen is when you get back in your defensive zone they have a pretty good idea of what they have to do,” Julien pointed out. “I thought he did a great job. He adjusted well along the walls; he was getting pucks out in the number of shifts he had and he was adequate as a replacement tonight to go out there and do a job when he was called upon. Kudos to him for doing a job in a position that he’s not used to playing all the time.”