Patrice Bergeron

'I definitely wasn't mad at our team,' Rask says of Vegas postgame comments

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'I definitely wasn't mad at our team,' Rask says of Vegas postgame comments

BRIGHTON, Mass – Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was acting a bit out of character after the Sunday night loss to the Vegas Golden Knights when he said he wouldn’t be commenting on team performance outside of his own goaltending. 

Clearly, it was a tense atmosphere in the Bruins dressing room following an extremely bad road performance and it would seem very likely there’s probably been some friction in the past between Rask and positional players over his postgame candor.

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That was the backdrop for Rask keeping it laconic, and saying on Sunday night: “I just try to go out there and give us a chance to win every night. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not going to comment anymore on team play that much. We can just talk about goaltending. That’s just the way it is. Sorry.”

It would seem that some fans and Bruins observers took that to mean Rask was pissed off at his Bruins teammates after a few breakdowns defensively, and a total non-performance at the offensive end of the ice.

Taking all that into account, Rask clarified his comments a bit after practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena and said it’s all about focusing on his own performance rather than taking issues with any of his teammates.

“You lose games and you’re not happy with your performance. Somebody just told me that I guess it got spun the wrong way that it was me mad at my teammates or something. That’s definitely not the case,” said Rask, whom at 1-3-0 with a 3.30 goals-against average and .880 save percentage this season, is clearly in need of some improvement as well.

“You lose games and you definitely hold yourself accountable and you want to talk about your performance and what you need to do to get better," Rask said. "So, that’s where I was coming from. I definitely wasn’t mad at our team. I was more mad at myself, so that’s that.

“You always try to give a fair assessment about the game, but I think the biggest thing that I need to worry about, and what everybody else needs to worry about, is how they get better themselves. You start from that, so that’s where I was coming from.”

The prospect of getting Patrice Bergeron and David Backes back healthy would go a long way toward improving the Bruins play on the ice and stabilizing things defensively for Rask and the rest of the Black and Gold. That’s really what’s needed at this point to improve a situation where the B’s are 23rd in the NHL, averaging 3.6 goals allowed per game, and real, rather than figurative, fingers might start getting pointed all around if it doesn’t start looking better in short order.  

Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

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Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

BRIGHTON -- It was good news when word first filtered out that David Backes had resumed skating last weekend while the Bruins were on the West Coast, and even better news Tuesday when he returned to practice. Backes skated without any restrictions in a spot on the third line with Riley Nash and Tim Schaller, and appeared to be recovering nicely from his bout of diverticulitis.

Backes was initially diagnosed with the inflammatory colon ailment in the first few days of October, with the team estimating a three- to four-week recovery period. If he'd needed surgery rather than the  prescribed rest and medication, he could have been facing a lot more missed games.

Patrice Bergeron was also back skating on Tuesday morning while centering Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork, still sporting a maroon no-contact jersey while taking some light contact during the practice session.

Backes and Bergeron look like they’ could be returning to the lineup soon.

But the injury news wasn't all good, as Ryan Spooner, Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen and Adam McQuaid were all missing from practice.

Spooner (lower body) and McQuaid (lower body) were both injured in Sunday night’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and Czarnik and/or Heinen might be ticketed back to Providence soon if the Bruins have to make roster space for Bergeron and/or Backes ahead of Thursday night’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with a whole different look to things with some of the different bodies taking part in the skate:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork
DeBrusk-Krejci-Pasta
Schaller-Nash-Backes
Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano
White

Chara-Carlo
Miller-McAvoy
Krug-Postma

Rask
Khudobin

Bergeron doesn't skate with Bruins, expected to miss more games

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Bergeron doesn't skate with Bruins, expected to miss more games

GLENDALE, Arizona – Patrice Bergeron hopped on the bench for the end of Bruins practice at the Gila River Arena home of the Arizona Coyotes, but it was just the 32-year-old getting a head start on a post-practice skate on his own. While head coach Bruce Cassidy wouldn’t rule Bergeron out for this weekend’s games vs. the Coyotes and Golden Knights, the Bruins do-it-all center looks like he’ll miss the weekend with the mysterious lower-body injury that’s already caused him to miss the three games of the season.  

It’s been weeks since Bergeron was able to go through a full-tilt practice with the Bruins, and that will have to change before No. 37 is going to get tossed back into games. Cassidy wouldn’t completely rule out a miracle in the desert with Bergeron somehow being able to play, but it doesn’t sound like that’s in the cards for him.

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“He’s out there skating [on his own] so that’s a good sign, but obviously not being able to participate in practice you’re always concerned that you need one of those good practices before you can play. It doesn’t look like he’ll be in, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” said Cassidy. “It hurts. He’s arguably our best player night in and night out. He makes people around him better and we use him in all situations.

“We need to find somebody else to go in and do [the job]. It’s that simple. I’ll do that on the phone with my wife tonight. I’ll complain about missing him, but now he’s not in. So it’s next man up. I know it sounds simple, but we have to have guys in that locker room that are going to get hungry and respond to that challenge.”

So far Riley Nash and Ryan Spooner have skated in place of the injured Bergeron, and neither one has been able to adequately fill in for the four-time Selke Trophy winner.

Kevan Miller left practice early after taking a puck off the top of his right knee and was helped back to the dressing room in a scary-looking scene. Cassidy said afterward it might have been a case of Miller’s leg simply going dead after taking the shot off the knee, but it looked like he had dodged a bullet and was going to be okay. With Bergeron expected to miss a couple more games this weekend, here are the line combos and D-pairings with Austin Czarnik potentially replacing Ryan Spooner as third-line center in the game night lineup:

 

Marchand-Nash-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Bjork

Beleskey-Czarnik/Spooner-Vatrano

Schaller-Kuraly-Heinen

White

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Miller-McAvoy

Postma

 

Khudobin

Rask 

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