The good news is that Tuukka Rasks groin is fine.
He told Czech TVNOVA TV hockey reporter Roman Jedlicka following his Plzens teams Tuesday loss that he was fine: "I slightly pulled my groin, it is not serious. I had groin problems last year so I took little rest just for precaution.
This came on the heels of Rask getting pulled after the first period of a Czech League game when he felt a twinge in the groin injury that dogged him after he pulled it against the New York Islanders on March 3. That groinabdomen strain kept him out for the final five weeks of the regular season before he returned to back up Tim Thomas during the first round of the playoffs against the Washington Capitals.
But the bad news is that Rask is still experiencing twinges and strains after last years troubling injury. The Bruins' starting job was the Finnish goaltenders to win down the stretch last year if he could have remained healthy.
Instead he pulled the groin and forced the Bruins to scour for the cooked Marty Turco as a clearly fatigued Tim Thomas scuffled down the stretch. Thats why Rask signed only a one-year, 3.5 million deal with the Bruins this summer, and put himself in a position where he needed to prove he can be the man sturdy enough to start 55-60 games for the Bs.
The bad news: A groin twinge in Europe and mention of last years injuries is a bad first sign when groin woes tend to become chronic issues for goaltenders. If Rask is already experiencing groin discomfort less than a month into a Czech League stint one has to wonder how much confidence they should have that the lithe goalie can remain healthy.
For a player that will be one of the most important figures on the Bruins roster once the NHL regular season begins and has only the inexperienced Anton Khudobin backing him up, its a concerning development for Rask and for Boston no matter how minor the groin problem.
Such is life in a world without Tim Thomas, however, after the All-Star goaltender decided to take a year-long sabbatical from the NHL and the Bruins organization.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the return of Adolfo to Toucher and Rich this morning.
*Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid have received plenty of acclaim over the past couple of years as talented, young stars in the league, but Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien details how things haven’t gone ideally for either of those youngsters, or their teams, this season. Clearly, it’s not at this level yet, but just think about the hype behind Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin when they were drafted 1-2 back in 2010, and what they have, and haven’t, been able to accomplish in the league since that time.
*Outstanding rookie Brock Boeser credits a conversation with Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green for helping spark his game this season.
*Good video piece on the near miss of Wayne Gretzky almost playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs after dominating them in the playoffs.
*Salivating for some hockey trades? The 10 potential NHL trade deadline targets around the league as we wait for players to become available for trade later in the season.
*Hockeybuzz is asking what the NHL, and more specifically the Hockey Hall of Fame, has against goaltenders?
*For something completely different: A great piece from Drew Bledsoe on the tragic passing of former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, and how his death came just as he seemed to be putting all the pieces of his life together.
BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are getting closer to a healthier lineup, but it won’t be in time for the Thanksgiving Eve road tilt against the upstart New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.
Brad Marchand (upper body), Torey Krug (upper body) and David Backes (colon surgery) all skated in red no-contact jerseys at practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, so none of those three banged-up B’s will be making the trip to Jersey. Anders Bjork (upper body) didn’t practice and is obviously out vs. the Devils as well, but Ryan Spooner might be a possibility after making it through his first full practice since tearing his groin almost six weeks ago.
If he can make it through Wednesday's morning skate without any problems, Spooner will likely be a game-time decision against the Devils after missing the past 14 games.
The Bruins have continued to indicate that Marchand is in the concussion protocol, though it appears the Bruins agitator is dealing with both upper body and lower body issues. Marchand was encouraged by the progress he’s making while returning to practice, so perhaps the B’s could get back one of their leading scorers sooner rather than later.
“I feel pretty good. It’s good to be back with the guys and feel like you’re a part of the team,” said Marchand, who has missed five of the past seven games after returning for the home-and-home against the Maple Leafs. “It’s frustrating whenever you miss games and you miss time away from the team, but they had a great road trip and they’re playing well. It would be nice to be back in the lineup consistently and be back with the team...it’ll come.”
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Devils based on practice Tuesday: