Bruins

No hard feeling for Wideman

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No hard feeling for Wideman

Dennis Wideman is excited to suit up and play against his former Bruins team, but the excitement isnt about revenge or getting back at the boo-happy fans.

Instead its simply about getting back into the playoffs after missing out on last season with a leg injury that went wrong for the puck-moving defenseman. The hematoma in his leg kept him hospitalized and away from the action after hed been traded to the Caps, so hes looking at this years playoffs as the chance to finally up for Washington as a difference-maker.

It isnt about proving the Bruins wrong for trading him away in exchange for players in Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell that helped the Bruins win the Cup.

He understands thats a business and he turned in his first All-Star worthy season with 46 points as the main offensive defenseman for the Caps.

I dont know if Im motivated by proving anybody wrong. I was in a situation where they had a lot of defensemen and they needed a forward. I was the guy that went the other way. Thats the way I looked at it, said Wideman. When they lost Kessel to Toronto and they needed a top-end scorer.

Horton was the guy they went after and the guy they could give up was on defense. Its business. Thats the way it works. I dont sit there and say I cant believe they traded me because thats not how it is. Look around and watch the other sports. Thats just the way it works.

Its also not about gaining vengeance against a Boston fan base that turned Wideman into a Hal GillJoe Corvo-style whipping boy when the blueliner got off to a very slow start. It got pretty bad for Wideman once the Bs fans focused on each defensive zone misadventure, but he doesnt harbor any ill will towards Boston after two years away from the bad scene.

No. I didnt start off the year as well as I wanted to and the first half was a struggle, said Wideman. I was getting frustrated. Theyre knowledgeable hockey fans, so I assumed they werent too happy with the way I was playing.

They were just being Boston fans. They dont put up with that. Thats just the way it is.While Wideman wouldnt say that revenge was on his mind playing the Bruins this season, he did score a pair of goals in the four regular season matchups. But thats not the ultimate Wideman revenge: that would probably involve celebrating a Washington playoff series victory on the Boston ice that became his tormentor two years ago.

Kenny Agostino looking forward to 'the right opportunity' with the Bruins

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Kenny Agostino looking forward to 'the right opportunity' with the Bruins

BRIGHTON, Mass – It’s been a few different stints with a few different NHL teams for 25-year-old Kenny Agostino, so he knows the drill at this point in his pro hockey career. The Bruins signed Agostino as a free agent on July 1 after he led the AHL in scoring last season, and they gave him a one-way contract as a show of proof that he’d get his chances at the NHL level.

It didn’t happen immediately out of camp as Agostino was felled by a concussion for part of the preseason, but he’ll get his chance now with injuries and ineffectiveness creating an opening for him on the Black and Gold. Agostino should get a look as the left winger on the third line after lighting it up in Providence with two goals and seven points in his first three games with the P-Bruins, and he’s looking forward to seizing another chance at the NHL level after stints with the Flames and Blues. 

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“I’ve been doing this a few years and I like to think I’ve developed my game outside of my offensive ability,” said the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Agostino, who had 24 goals and 83 points for the Chicago Wolves last season. “That’s kind of been my goal to become more of a complete player. I’m excited and looking forward to another opportunity and just want to make the most of it. I’m not looking past tonight.

“I was fortunate as a college guy to get my first pro experience at the NHL level in Calgary, but then you understand how difficult it is to establish yourself. You need a lot of different things. You need the right opportunity and you need to do well with it, so it makes you appreciate how great of an opportunity it is anytime you get to play in this league.”

Certainly, the Bruins are anxious to get a look at Agostino, and probably Peter Cehlarik at some point soon, and the lack of production from some of the NHL incumbents have fast-forwarded that process a little bit. Agostino will replace Ryan Spooner along the half-wall on the first power play unit, and perhaps he can add the kind of scoring touch in the bottom-6 that Matt Beleskey and Frank Vatrano haven’t been able to thus far.

“We know Kenny is going to start in Spooner’s power play spot, he’s done it before and he’s had some success at the lower levels when given that opportunity. Obviously he’ll play left behind [Brad] Marchand and [Jake] DeBrusk, probably on the third line spot,” said Cassidy. “He’s played with [Riley] Nash yesterday [at practice] so there’s a good chance he’ll play with him today.”

The Bruins certainly need a spark after limping out to a 2-3-0 start to the season in the first five games, so perhaps a hungry Agostino can do that while being given a legit chance to show what he can do by the Black and Gold. 

Tuukka Rask out indefinitely for Bruins with a concussion

Tuukka Rask out indefinitely for Bruins with a concussion

BRIGHTON, Mass – Tuukka Rask has been diagnosed with a concussion, and will be out indefinitely for the Bruins after getting trucked in Wednesday’s Bruins practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

The good news is that the 30-year-old Rask hasn’t previously dealt with concussion issues in his NHL career, but the bad news that it looked like a fairly serious concussion after Anders Bjork crashed into him during line rush drills at Bruins practice. It’s still unclear if Bjork caught an edge and crashed into Rask during drills, or if there was contact with another player that thrust the B’s rookie, who needed stitches on his chin as well, into the unsuspecting Bruins goalie for the rare violent collision during an off-day hockey practice. 

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“It’s not really easy. Last year I had a couple of collisions and it doesn’t feel good,” said Anton Khudobin. “Sometimes you get run over in a game and you kind of expect that it’s coming, but in the practices maybe you’re not expecting it. I don’t know. It’s not fun.” 

Rask had to be helped off the ice by his teammates and was spaghetti-legged and unsteady on his feet as he made his way off the way, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect him to miss 7-10 days at a minimum based on NHL concussion protocol. 

Clearly it’s a blow to the Bruins to lose their No. 1 goaltender while struggling to stabilize their game weeks into the regular season, and for Rask it continues a tough season where he’s off to a 1-3-0 start with a 3.30 goals against average and .882 save percentage behind a leaky defense. 

So Anton Khudobin will step in on Thursday night for Rask coming off a 29-save win over the Arizona Coyotes last weekend, and P-Bruins netminder Zane McIntyre will serve as Khudobin’s backup goalie on an emergency basis.

“You don’t want to see that, but at the same time we’ve got to keep moving forward and hopefully he’s going to get better soon,” said Khudobin. “I feel good. Camp was good and everything is fine, and I’ve started better than last year. My role is just day-to-day. Today is a game day and hopefully, you get a good result, and then tomorrow is another new day.”

It remains to be seen how quickly or slowly that Rask recovers from this concussion, but there is concern as more than a few NHL goalies have suffered from recurring issues once they start going down the path with concussion issues. 

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