Morning Skate: Wednesday, Dec. 26

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Morning Skate: Wednesday, Dec. 26

Pierre Lebrun with a solid list of 10 things the NHL could do to win back fans when the interminable lockout is finally over. Love the idea of free agency beginning right after the NHL Draft in June.

An epic line brawl in junior hockey taking place while Miley Cyrus Party in the USA is blaring within the arena. Thats as American as Apple Pie and Bald Eagles.

Nick Cotsonika has the top 5 NHL stories of 2012 in what represents the beginning of a slew of year-ending stories that will flood the web with nothing else to write about.

There once was a time when the NHL ruled on Christmas. Its been a long time, though, as the NBA has ruled on Dec. 25 for quite some time.

Could the Phoenix Coyotes actually turn a profit by not playing a single NHL game this season? That is one of the sad truths of this NHL lockout.

Edmonton Oilers wunderkind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins dominates in Team Canadas first game in the World Junior tournament.

Could the Stanley Cup be awarded to an amateur team this season if the NHL regular season never gets started?

For something different: CSNNE.com has put together a Whos Who list of 20 athletes under the age of 25 years old that are making a name for themselves in Boston. Check it out.

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.