Bruins

Rask gets start over Khudobin vs. Lightning

Rask gets start over Khudobin vs. Lightning

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins have maintained all along that Tuukka Rask was their No. 1 goaltender as the “goalie controversy” heated up the past few weeks. On Wednesday, they backed their words with their actions. 

The embattled Rask will get the start on Wednesday night against the Atlantic Division-leading Lightning and it wouldn’t surprise to see him also start Saturday vs. the Flyers if he gets a good result against the Bolts.

Rask has routinely played well against both teams in the past and Bruce Cassidy said it was important to show faith in Rask as he works his way out of a funk that has seen him go 3-8-2 to start the season. The Bruins goalie certainly wasn’t bad in the loss to the Oilers on Sunday. He gave up three goals on 35 shots but his coach knows that there is also a much higher level for him to attain to match past performance.

 

So, Cassidy and the B’s are going against the active four-game winning streak for backup Anton Khudobin and are putting Rask back between the pipes again for his second consecutive start after sitting out four in a row.

“We’ve got to get Tuukka’s game to where each [goalie] is playing well, and the best way to do that is to get him starts...so he’ll get one tonight,” said Cassidy. Rask is 13-6-1 lifetime vs. Tampa Bay with four career shutouts. “I think we’ve played well in front of Tuukka a lot of nights, but the other night [vs. Edmonton] we weren’t good in terms of our jump and energy. We weren’t horrible defensively, but we didn’t have what it takes to pull away.

“[Against Edmonton], he was solid. On the first goal, he was off his angle, and the second one goes in off a foot and the third one was a good shot. So the first one was a stoppable puck, and like I’ve said with Tuukka I think it comes down to one save, or one goal [scored for the Bruins] at the other end. If [Frank] Vatrano scores late after some good work then maybe it goes a different way. Hopefully tonight he makes that extra save, or we have that extra goal.”

Clearly, Rask needs to make a bunch of extra saves given his .899 save percentage (good for 34th in the NHL) and 2.91 goals-against average (24th in the NHL) this season. That needs to start happening Wednesday night vs. Tampa Bay in a big spot. 

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Morning Skate: 100 reasons to love the NHL at 100

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Morning Skate: 100 reasons to love the NHL at 100

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while "The Last Jedi" is officially open for business.

*In honor of the 100th anniversary of the NHL, here are 100 reasons to love the league, its players and its storied history. I’ll give you one reason: Bobby Freakin’ Orr.

*It looks like Milan Lucic is becoming a good fit on a line with Connor McDavid out in Edmonton, something that I think the Oil envisioned when they originally signed him.

*A nice piece on the lasting friendship between Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury even after they’re no longer goalie tandem partners in Pittsburgh. A couple of Stanley Cups will do that for a goalie duo.

*They say that there’s no dancing in hockey, and there’s this ECHL player that is getting his groove on during pregame warm-ups.

*It sounds like Anthony Duclair is attempting to adapt and evolve his game with the Arizona Coyotes after fighting through the trade rumors.

*For something completely different: Speaking of the release of the new "Star Wars" movie, here is the first reaction from fans.


 

Cassidy takes issue with no 'third man in' call

Cassidy takes issue with no 'third man in' call

BOSTON – Brad Marchand understands the rabble-rousing game as much as anybody at the NHL level.

So, the Bruins left winger isn’t going to be the one to complain when somebody begins targeting him with the same kind of borderline hits and rough-edged play that he doles out on a regular basis. That was the case again in the 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at TD Garden.

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“That’s his game. I mean, [Tom Wilson] plays that way, and he’s effective at it, so, you know, that’s what’s got him a job in the NHL and continues to allow him to play,” said Marchand. “Again, you know, he’s effective at what he does.”

Marchand finished with a point and a minus-2 and was once again bumped and knocked around by the bigger, stronger Capitals team that knocked him out of the lineup with a high hit from Wilson more than a month ago.

Once again the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Wilson was at the heart of the proceedings in this one as he jumped on the back of Marchand, and caused the B’s winger to slam the back of his head into the boards after he’d already squared off with Dmitry Orlov following a whistle. Both Marchand and Orlov were understandably whistled for matching cross-checking penalties at the end of the second period, but Wilson got away completely free despite clearly jumping in as the third guy into the fracas.

Compare that with the lame third man in/instigator call against Jake DeBrusk last week when he stepped up to defend a teammate the proper way and it’s no surprise Bruce Cassidy was a little miffed at the officiating after the game Thursday.

“I voiced my opinion at the end of the period. I think it’s wrong. And to me, to just put two guys in the box in that situation, when a third guy comes in there should have been an additional call,” said Cassidy. “That’s the way I felt about it. They didn’t see it that way. Cleary two guys, [Dimitry] Orlov and

Marchy [Brad Marchand] was battling and for him to come in is unnecessary to say the least in that situation. Their job is to police it on the ice. In that particular instance, that’s the way they saw it. That’s the way it went.”

Of greater concern to the Bruins should be Wilson continuing to target Marchand in plays that result in smacking his head into the boards and putting him in danger of another head injury after he’s already been in the concussion protocol twice this season. Nobody from the Bruins stepped up to Wilson in the third period after pulling that stunt with No. 63. The feeling at this address is that it’s going to continue happening with Marchand until somebody decides they’re going to protect Boston’s star player. 

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