Bourque scratched, MacDermid called up for Sabres game


Bourque scratched, MacDermid called up for Sabres game

Bruins coach Claude Julien talked down any reference to their bad blood with the Buffalo Sabres as speculation, but actions usually speak louder than words. The Bs coach has inserted AHL tough guy Lane MacDermid into the lineup as a fourth-line winger along with Shawn Thornton, and scuffling left wing Chris Bourque will take a seat as a healthy scratch for the first time this season.

But Julien wasnt going to opine on why the Sabres opted to sign 6-foot-8, 260-pound enforcer John Scott and trade for noted agitator Steve Ott in the offseason a couple of clear signs that Buffalo was looking to toughen up against their divisional foes in Boston. Thats been the case since Milan Lucic trucked Ryan Miller at the beginning of last year, and set off a bitter rivalry between the Bs and Sabres that lasted throughout the regular season.

I have no problem with anything. Its Buffalos choice to build a team any way they want, said Julien. Speculation is speculation as far as Im concerned, and thats all it is until something happens. Weve played our style of game forever and we dont plan on changing that. Theres nothing, as far as Im concerned, to be worried about.

The Bruins coach was pressed and asked if there's any carryover from the LucicMiller fracas last season, even after Paul Gaustad addressed the situation by dropping the gloves with Boston's power forward in Buffalo last year.

"You're asking the wrong coach," said Julien, with a nod that any extra aggression would be coming from Buffalo's end.

Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice for the Bruins at morning skate and hell get the start against Buffalo as the Sabres are expected to counter with Ryan Miller between the pipes. Here are the expected lines and pairings tonight with Adam McQuaid also returning to the lineup:




Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment


Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while anxiously awaiting a Cleveland/Chicago Cubs World Series showdown with all of the Red Sox subplots that could be involved.

*A peewee hockey coach in Quebec has been given a season-long suspension for punishing his players with hundreds of push-ups.

*The NHL game has changed radically over the last 11 years as Henrik Lundqvist has been a fixture for the New York Rangers.

*A lot has changed since Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal in 1990 and this article is worth it for the Jagr mullet picture alone.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough says that a healthy Brandon Sutter has been a difference-maker for the Canucks.

*Carey Price is back in net for the Montreal Canadiens, and that makes the Habs a new team as they prepare for the Bruins on Saturday.

*This is what it looks like when you’ve completely given up on just about everything else except for being a hockey fan. So very gross.

*For something completely different: The Doctor Strange cast is being forced into answering some tough questions at the premiere of what is essentially a comic book movie.



Rask status in question vs. Canadiens with ‘general soreness’


Rask status in question vs. Canadiens with ‘general soreness’

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Tuukka Rask has been outstanding through his first three games this season after stumbling out of the gate last year. The .947 save percentage and sub 2.00 GAA are all the more impressive for Rask when also accounting for a lower body issue that’s been nagging at him since the opening night win a little more than a week ago.

Rask stopped 28 of 29 shots against the New Jersey Devils Thursday night in a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden, but it was also clear on a couple of stops that he was feeling discomfort in his lower half as he extended into the full butterfly. 

That was confirmed by Rask following the win when he admitted he was dealing with “something” after the game, and by his absence from the practice ice at Warrior Ice Arena on Friday morning.

“Uh-huh. There’s always a little something-something,” said a smirking Rask, when asked if he’s playing through something physically.

Instead, Babson College goalie coach Mike Ronan was called into emergency duty, and took the practice ice along with Bruins backup netminder Anton Khudobin.

Claude Julien said following practice that Rask was dealing with the same “general soreness” that last week pushed him out of a scheduled start against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s uncertain whether he will make the start against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

“The general soreness he had last week is still there,” said Julien. “[The medical staff] will see tomorrow how he's doing.”

Rask also missed a Bruins practice with soreness last Friday in Toronto, and wasn’t able to play the next night in the loss to the Maple Leafs. Injuries aside, Rask has been brilliant against both New Jersey and Winnipeg and was solid over the final 40 minutes against the Blue Jackets in an opening night win to start the season.

“Tuukka was outstanding in Winnipeg and he was good again [vs. New Jersey],” said Julien. “So, there are no issues with Tuukka. I think he’s giving us the hockey and the goaltending that we are looking for.”

Well, maybe there is one slight “issue with Tuukka” if a nagging lower body issue starts keeping him out of Bruins games and practices on the regular.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings at Friday practice:









Liles-C. Miller