Bruins

Report: Schaller signs with Canucks on two-year deal

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Report: Schaller signs with Canucks on two-year deal

Tim Schaller, who spent the last two seasons with the Bruins, signed with the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday according to Mark Divver of The Providence Journal.

Schaller played in all 82 games with the Bruins during the 2017-18 season, racking up 22 points on 12 goals and 10 assists.

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Do Bruins have the best goaltending in the NHL? It certainly looks that way

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AP Images

Do Bruins have the best goaltending in the NHL? It certainly looks that way

PITTSBURGH – Do the Bruins have the best goaltending in the entire NHL as teams slowly approach the midway mark of the season?

It certainly appears that way as they throw Jaroslav Halak out against the high-powered Penguins in a Friday night showdown in Pittsburgh. That’s the same Halak that sat out the previous two games despite currently ranking fourth in the NHL in goals against average (2.30 GAA) and second in save percentage (.930) after a tremendous start to the season.

This will actually be just the third start in the last eight games for Halak despite those excellent numbers, and that’s because Tuukka Rask has been just as good since coming back from a weekend leave of absence in early November. Since coming back to the B’s, Rask is 5-3-2 with a .920 save percentage and has begun demanding closer to No. 1 goalie reps based on the way that he’s playing.

Certainly both Rask and Halak are confident in their own abilities, but they’re going to let others do the trumpeting about it for them. One thing has been clear, though.

Since both Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron went down on successive nights with injuries last month, both Halak and Rask have elevated their games and allowed an undermanned Bruins team to continue treading water in playoff range.

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“Obviously we think we’re good goalies and we want to help the team. But it’s up to other people to decide where we rank in the league tandems. We don’t care about that too much,” said Rask to NBCSportsBoston.com. “Guys get hurt and different guys have to step up. Sometimes you need your goalies more than other nights. I haven’t felt like we’ve been stealing games or whatever. We just go out there and give us a chance to win, and I think we’ve accomplished that for the most part. Every team needs to have confidence in their goalies, and that’s all we’re trying to be.”

    Put both goaltenders together and they’re second in the NHL behind only Nashville with a 2.55 goals against average, and lead the entire league with a .920 save percentage that’s actually way ahead of Anaheim and Toronto, the teams directly behind them.

    The case can absolutely be made that the Bruins are getting the best goaltending in the entire NHL, as they probably should while shelling out almost $10 million for it this season.

    “I feel that way. I’m sure some teams up the street have a different opinion,” said Bruce Cassidy, when asked if he thinks the Bruins have the best goaltending in the league. “We feel that we’re rock-solid there, and we don’t ever worry about who is in net ever. The only thing I worry about is keeping them sharp and getting them the starts that they need.

    “There is probably not enough because there’s only one net and they’re both going well. It’s a good problem to have. And I think our guys feel that way that we go into each game with an edge, and that’s in net. You just can’t give up any soft goals because you are [expletive] if you do. You might have to make one or two timely saves and that will decide how people judge your performance.”

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    As Cassidy alluded, the challenge now becomes keeping both Halak and Rask at their current levels of puck-stopping while staving off rust for either one. Case in point is Friday night vs. the Penguins, when it’s been almost a week since Halak steered the B’s to a 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs. That’s a bit of a lengthy time period for a goalie that’s been as good as Halak, but both goaltenders seem to understand the ebb and flow of playing time right now.

      It would appear lately as if Rask is beginning to reclaim that No. 1 job title based on playing five of the last seven games headed into tonight, but he's perfectly okay with giving way to Halak based on the way he’s played as well.

      “I don’t know how challenging it is because we don’t really care. We both want to play. When we’re both playing good it’s a real luxury to share the net and keep both of us fresh. It’s easy when everybody is playing the same game, and on the same page,” said Rask to NBCSportsBoston.com. “It’s been working well that I play a couple of games and then I might rest one or two and then get back in there. It’s not about getting back out there and every single time you need to prove yourself again and again. It’s more like ‘take your rest’ and you go out there and play, and then the other guy plays. It’s working well.”

      It’s working more than well as the NHL goaltending duo of Rask and Halak are at the top of the NHL charts when the B’s have needed them most, and don’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. It’s exactly what the Bruins envisioned when they surprisingly went out and snagged Halak on July 1 at the start of free agency, and opted to make a massive investment in their goalies. 

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      Bruins' Sean Kuraly 'expected to play' against Penguins after nose procedure

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      Bruins' Sean Kuraly 'expected to play' against Penguins after nose procedure

      PITTSBURGH – The Bruins continue the challenge of keeping both their goaltenders on point as they go with Jaroslav Halak on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Tuukka Rask had started and won each of the two previous games while stopping 57 of 61 shots, and now it’s Halak's turn to keep up his performance, which still has him ranked fourth in the NHL in goals against average (2.30) and second in save percentage (.930).

      The good news is that he’s been pretty good vs. the high-powered Penguins throughout his career, with a 9-6-2 record along with a 2.40 GAA and .924 save percentage.

      “The goalie is Halak today,” confirmed Cassidy.

      Otherwise, there won’t be too many changes with Sean Kuraly “expected to play” in tonight’s game after getting a minor procedure done on his nose Thursday rather than skating in the off-day practice with the team. He was manning the wing during the morning skate at Pittsburgh’s arena, but may give way to Noel Acciari in the middle as he dons a face cage to help protect his healing nose.

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      “[Kuraly] looks fine. He just needs to adjust to that mask. But he should play. He’ll go through warm-up tonight, but we’re expecting him to [play],” said Cassidy of Kuraly, who had his nose busted in a brawl with towering Ottawa defenseman Ben Harpur last weekend. “I put Noel in the middle and Wagner on the wing. That could change because we’ve played them as a three-some before with Kuraly in the middle and Wagner on the wing. I just put Noel in the middle for a little bit because I trust him to play there while it frees Sean up to get in on the fore-check.”

      Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings based on Friday’s morning skate in Pittsburgh:

      Marchand-Krejci-Pastrnak

      Nordstrom-Cave-Backes

      Donato-JFK-Heinen

      Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner

      Krug-Carlo

      Grzelcyk-McAvoy

      Moore-Kampfer

      Halak

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