Bruins

Morning Skate: 'Injury-plagued' Tuukka Rask? Um, no.

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Morning Skate: 'Injury-plagued' Tuukka Rask? Um, no.

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while excited that hockey season is finally underway.

*So, some dude named Flip thinks the Bruins aren’t going to make the playoffs this season and calls Tuukka Rask injury-plagued. Three strikes and you’re out, buddy. Rask may have had his health issues over the last few years, but he’s also averaged 66 games played over the past three years. There aren’t many other goalies in the NHL that can say that. There might be one or two, so calling him “injury-plagued” is totally inaccurate.

*A Q&A with Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette about a range of subjects including the Olympics and Nashville’s run to the Cup Final.

*PHT writer Joel Alfieri asks if the Vegas Golden Knights are going to be the worst team in the NHL this upcoming season. My vote would be a solid “No” on that one because Marc-Andre Fleury is pretty good, and they should have the ultimate home ice advantage vs. NHL teams visiting Vegas on a road trip.

*Puck Daddy was Washington Capitals troublemaker Tom Wilson enjoying the way he got under the collective skin of everybody in Toronto after last spring’s playoff series.

*PK Subban again shows that he’s never going to forget the city of Montreal or the Children’s Hospital where he pledged to raise $10 million for them.

*For something completely different: This George Miller "Justice League" movie that might have happened ten years ago sounds like it would have been a freaking disaster.

 

Bruins come back to force overtime, but fall to Rangers, 3-2

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Bruins come back to force overtime, but fall to Rangers, 3-2

BOSTON – It was a highly entertaining hockey game at its core, but it was also one that will go down as a loss for the Boston Bruins when it’s all said and done.

The Bruins dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the New York Rangers on a Mats Zuccarello sniped shot that beat Tuukka Rask high to the glove side, and ended the Bruins attempts to come all the way back from a two-goal deficit midway through the game.

The Rangers struck first on a fluky goal in the first period as Michael Grabner sped through splitting the Bruins defense, and fired a shot high and wide that took a wild carom off the glass and ricocheted off the back and skate of Tuukka Rask before ending up in the back of the net. The Blueshirts added to in a poor penalty kill effort in the second period with JT Miller getting behind the entire B’s four-man unit, and promptly burying a backhanded bid past Rask.

The Bruins fought back, however, and halved the lead after one of five brutal power play possessions in the first two periods of the game. Zdeno Chara lofted a point shot at the Rangers net shortly after one of their PP’s had expired, and Danton Heinen tipped the shot past Henrik Lundqvist to make it a one-goal game.

The Bruins then finally hit paydirt on the power play in the third period as David Pastrnak wheeled around and fed Brad Marchand for a one-timer at the bottom of the face-off circle. That’s the way the game stayed until the 3-on-3 OT when the Bruins were whistled for a too many men on the ice penalty, and Zuccarello scored in the extra session for the Rangers win.  

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Morning Skate: The Force is with these Star Wars picks

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Morning Skate: The Force is with these Star Wars picks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while giving my two cents on the Last Jedi. There were some things I really, really liked about it. The action was well-done, it looked beautiful and there were some very cool surprises along the way. That’s as good as Mark Hamill has ever been playing Luke Skywalker, and I bought everything involving him. Rey continues to be a very strong character at the heart of the new movies. I even liked the Porgs. It definitely felt like a Star Wars movie in a way that the prequels absolutely did not, and so that’s a very good thing to start.

But some of the explanations and non-answers to burning questions from Star Wars fans was midichlorian-level disappointing, and the character of Rose is bound to become one of the most disliked since Jar Jar Binks. I just didn’t see much of a reason for her being in the story. The parts with her and Finn felt pretty unnecessary in general. There were a lot of attempts at humor throughout with some hits and some misses, and it feels like they didn’t learn any lessons from the way they under-utilized Captain Phasma in the Force Awakens.

All in all, as I said I mostly liked it and I think it will age well as people get used to some of the really eccentric choices Rian Johnson made with his 2 1/2 hours of storytelling. But I also understand why so many people straight up didn’t like it, or feel like the people controlling Lucasfilm are taking Star Wars in a path that’s making the things they originally fell in love with much less recognizable. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Kathleen Kennedy really pushed for one scene with Princess Leia that people have very mixed feelings about. That doesn’t really speak to me about what’s best for the story or the fans as much as it does about self-indulgence. If they go too far away from what people love about these movies, the diehard fans will end up walking away.

Here are my new rankings of the Star Wars movies including the Last Jedi:

1) Empire Strikes Back (accept no imitations, the GOAT).

2) A New Hope (The original will always be where the magic started)

3) Return of the Jedi (I just wish the Ewoks would have been Wookiees)

4) The Force Awakens (This had to be letter-perfect and it was)

5) The Last Jedi (The great sections of this movie make it worthwhile)

6) Rogue One (Proof there is life outside the Skywalker saga)

7) Revenge of the Sith (They should have titled it ‘Best of the Prequels’)

8) Phantom Menace (Worth it for the Pod race scene & the duel with Darth Maul)

9) Attack of the Clones (Some of the worst acting/dialogue in Star Wars history)

 *Speaking of Star Wars and hockey, kudos to this fan-created Bruins and Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster, and an interview with the biggest Star Wars fan that I know of on the Bruins, Brad Marchand.

*Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says that the Sens franchise “could look good somewhere else.” How is that not supposed to aggravate Senators fans that are already on the fence about this struggling team?

*A great speech from former BU standout Scott Young as he was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame this past week.

*Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant reflects on his “disappointing” end with the Florida Panthers when he was unceremoniously fired.

*Jordan Eberle is adjusting to New York life both on and off the ice, and it’s fair to say it’s quite a departure from Edmonton living.

*For something completely different: What a bizarre, sordid story with the wife of Lorenzen Wright reportedly mixed up in the death of the former NBA player.