Bruins prospect Khokhlachev takes puck to the head

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Bruins prospect Khokhlachev takes puck to the head

Bruins fans got a scare on Thursday night watching Subway Super Series between the Russia junior national team and Canadas CHL players when Bs prospect Alex Khokhlachev was hit in the face with a slap shot. Khokhlachev had flopped onto his belly to block a shot from the point and instead caught the screaming puck on the side of his head before covering his head in obvious pain.

CBC rink side reporter Elliotte Friedman had indicated early reports were that Koko was going to be okay, but it was a scary scene for an organization thats had to deal with far too many head injuries. Its an interesting time in Canada for Khokhlachev as the Windsor Spitfires his former OHL junior team was expected to approach the Russian forward about returning to junior hockey.

Khokhlachev has been playing for the KHL Moscow Spartak team his father is managing in Russia, but the 19-year-old has been saddled with bottom-six duty that doesnt favor his speed and skill set. Khokhlachev said he didnt know and didnt want to talk yet when approached by the Windsor Star about a potential return to the Spitfires. Its clearly something the Bruins organization wouldnt mind seeing. They want their 2011 second round pick to develop his game by playing plenty of minutes in different situations, and hes not getting that in Russia. In 19 games Khokhlachev has a goal and two points along with a minus-5 rating, and has weathered a tough adjustment against bigger, stronger, faster and smarter opponents.

Were not a really good team this year and Im not scoring goals, but the experience is good for me, Khokhlachev said to the Star. Its tough to lose a lot and not score goals, but its fine. I come every day to rink and work hard and it will be good.

It sounds like Khokhlachev is going to be okay, and thats great news. It remains to be seen where hell be playing for the rest of the season once he recovers from taking that puck to the face.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.