Bruins being careful with Rask

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Bruins being careful with Rask

WASHINGTON, DC Tuukka Rask inches closer to being ready for playoff action as the intensity increases with each passing Bruins practice, but Claude Julien was still not willing to put a timetable on his goaltenders recovery from a groinabdomen strain.

Rask went through the most rigorous workout since his recovery during Mondays morning skate prior to Game 3, and the goaltender said hes feeling no limitations as he slips back into game condition.

But Julien said the Bruins are being extra careful with their Finnish netminder because theyd never want to get into a doomsday situation where both Tim Thomas and Rask went down during the same playoff game.

Its not a matter of Rask being ready. Its a matter of him being 100 percent ready.

Hes getting closer. I dont know if hes ready for Game 4, 5, 6 or 7, or if it will be the second round, said Claude Julien. Hes looking good, but the one thing youve got to be careful of because hes a goaltender with the injury he had is that you dont rush him back.

The last thing you need is for Tim to go down, and then Tuukka comes in and goes down after the first or second shot faced. Were just making sure that when hes back that hes 100 percent, said Claude Julien. Not that hes feeling good, but that hes 100 percent. Right now we have a good backup in Anton Khudobin that had a good year in the minors and had a game for us against Ottawa.

It allows us the time for Tuukka to not just strengthen it up, but to get him in shape and sharp so were not wondering what kind of game hed be giving us if he got in there.Sounds like Rask might still have some work to do before hes actually ready to suit up in the playoff series, so stay tuned to the updates from practice.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.