Chara back in Boston after injuring Satan overseas

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Chara back in Boston after injuring Satan overseas

While it might have been disappointing when the NHL and NHLPA couldnt come to an agreement last week, it hasnt stopped the local NHL players from getting together to skate.

On Tuesday Shawn Thornton was a part of the local group of players skating together at an area rink, but the locals were joined for the first time in months by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The KHL, Swiss League and Czech League are all on a current 10-day holiday break, so NHL players like Chara and Tyler Seguin have temporarily returned to Boston from their overseas adventures.

It was a perfect time for Chara to leave his HC Lev team in Prague as there are some hard feelings for the Bs defensemen from his former teammate, Miroslav Satan. Chara drilled Satan with a pair of hits in November one when he caught Satan with his head down carrying the puck in the neutral zone that caused a concussion and a neck injury that still have the former BsIslandersSabres forward out of his KHL teams lineup.

The hit was a clean one perhaps made worse by the size difference between the two players, but Satan still had some unkind things to say about his Slovakian countryman through the European media. The following Satan quote was tweeted out by Czech reporter Roman Jedlicka of TV NOVA:

The great friendship between Bruins Zdeno Chara and Miro Satan is over. Reason? Two huge hits from Chara in November, Satan is still (1)

Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 11, 2012

injured. Satan: "Zdeno risked the health and life of someone who calls a good friend. I'm not saying he wanted intentionally to hurt me (2)

Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 11, 2012

but he knew that was me and that i didnt see him. Plate between the sixth and seventh vertebrae in my neck is displaced by 4.5 mms(3)

Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 11, 2012

into the spinal canal. It took a bit and I may have been paralyzed. Source: goo.glV1wZB (end)

Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 11, 2012

Chara maintained after the game he didnt know at the time it was Satan until after each of the hits took place, and has always considered incidents like the hit in question as hockey plays.

Chara has nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 20 games with Lev Prague, and is a plus-3 while battling to keep up with the quick skill game favored in Europe over the gritty, physical North American version.

Thornton and Chara were joined on Tuesday afternoon by skate regulars like Jay Pandalfo, Ryan Whitney and Keith Yandle, who continue to skate locally rather than report to their NHL homes in Edmonton and Phoenix.

Brandon Yip, Tuukka Rask, Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic have also been regular skaters over the last few weeks, but werent among those skating on the frozen sheet Tuesday.

Julien: Pastrnak 'coming into his own' as Bruins' 'best forward'

Julien: Pastrnak 'coming into his own' as Bruins' 'best forward'

BOSTON – The Bruins are running out of superlatives for 20-year-old David Pastrnak at this point. 

The right winger continued his torrid goal-scoring pace in a breakout season with the B’s by scoring a couple of goals, including a dazzling overtime game-winner, in a 4-3 OT win over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. 

Pastrnak now has 15 goals scored in 21 games this season for the Bruins, and has matched career-high for goals scored in a single season already with nearly three quarters of the season still left to be played. Only Sidney Crosby and Patrik Laine have scored more goals than Pastrnak in the NHL this season, and it’s a scary thought to imagine where the 25th ranked Bruins offense would be without their ascending superstar from the Czech Republic. 

Certainly the Bruins wouldn’t have taken two points from the Panthers without him: Pastrnak ended the overtime session quickly when he wheeled up and out of the offensive zone after getting the puck to David Krejci, and then gathered speed before taking the puck from Krejci, blowing the doors off Florida D-man Mike Matheson with a couple of moves and then easily beating Roberto Luongo with a game-winning goal. It was a highlight reel, electric overtime game-winner by any measure, but it’s also the kind of thing that’s started to become routine for an offensive player with as much speed, skill and creativity as anybody currently playing in the NHL. 

“He’s coming into his own, I think. There’s no doubt about that confidence wise, it’s at its highest right now and rightfully so. I think when you look at him skate – and not only in the goal, but even before the goal – he went after that puck to get control of it before that goal even happened,” said Julien. “So once you’ve got control and he moved it around and then got it into Krech’s [David Krejci] hands, at that point when he came back from circling just in the neutral zone a little bit, he had caught their defenseman flat-footed. 

“With that speed I guess there’s not much that D could have done, but what a great move. Obviously taking the time to lift the puck up was pretty impressive – especially that last move. So a nice goal and a great way for us to finish with that win. I think he’s been our best forward since the beginning of the year. So, no doubt it’s nice to see him growing the way he is right now.”

The second period goal was just as impressive for Pastrnak for all kinds of different reasons. The young right wing started a puck possession in the corner when he battled to hold onto the puck from his knees, and eventually worked possession up to Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron fired and missed wide on his chance at the net, but Brad Marchand grabbed the loose puck and uncorked a no-look, spinning pass to Pastrnak waiting in front of the net. 

The natural born scorer fired a laser blast past Luongo and temporarily gave the Bruins the lead in a seesaw game between Boston and Florida. All three of the forwards on the Bergeron line touched the puck on that scoring possession leading right up to the score, and it’s been part of the learning process for a player hitting his offensive peak in his third NHL season. 

“All the games I play beside Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Marchy [Brad Marchand] and [with] those two guys it’s such a pleasure to play [with them] and learn a bunch of stuff, learning every single shift,” said Pastrnak. “They talk to me, tell me what to do, and then I guess [I’m] trying to listen. We have a lot of guys here who have been around the league for a long time, so they [are] helping us young guys. It’s really helpful.”

Now it’s Pastrnak tearing up the league in just his third pro season, and playing like he’s going to be “around the league for a long time” just like some of the players on the Boston roster that have jumped from a talented young player to the pathway to NHL stardom. The sky is truly the limit for a player in Pastrnak that can win battles, score goals and skate around in overtime just waiting to embarrass any defenseman that dares try and stop him. 

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

Thomas strains right groin, says he'll 'be fine for Wednesday'

The bumps and bruises continue to pile up for Isaiah Thomas, adding a new one to the group during Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston. 
 
The 5-foot-9 guard said he strained his right groin in the second quarter, but added that the injury won’t force him to miss any games. 
 
“I’ll be alright,” Thomas told reporters after the loss. “I’ll get treatment. I’ll be fine for Wednesday (against Orlando).”
 
The injury appeared to have happened shortly after Houston’s Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer that put the Rockets ahead 55-45.
 
At the time it didn’t seem all that serious as Thomas, who had 20 points on the night, came down and drained a 3-pointer. 
 
But after the game, Thomas acknowledged his groin did bother him during the game in which he played 33-plus minutes. 
 
“A few drives I didn’t have the lift,” said Thomas, who finished with 20 points. “It is what it is. I’ll figure it out.”
 
Thomas, who played in all 82 regular season games last season in addition to each of Boston’s 21 games this season, has dealt with an assortment of injuries including but not limited to, a swollen middle finger injury on his left (shooting) hand. 
 
Thomas, an All-Star last season for the first time, has played at an elite level that should once again position him to be represent the Eastern Conference. 
 
Following Monday’s game, Thomas is averaging a career-high 26.0 points per game which ranks ninth in the NBA along with 6.1 assists.