Chara finishes third in Norris Trophy voting


Chara finishes third in Norris Trophy voting

LAS VEGAS, NV Zdeno Chara had, by some accounts, a career statistical year in terms of offensive production and plusminus, but it wasnt enough to carry him to his second Norris Trophy.
Instead Ottawa Senators youngster Erik Karlsson became the youngest defenseman to capture the Norris Trophy since a 20-year-old Bobby Orr took home the best defensemen honors in 1968. The Swedish defenseman edged out Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber by 12 votes in an incredibly close race, and Chara finished a distant third with fewer than half of the number of first place votes (32-to-66) earned by Karlsson.
The argument against Karlsson included his very limited amount of ice time on the penalty kill and his lack of defensive grit given the demands of his position, but it proved impossible to ignore the 78-point season enjoyed by the Sens defenseman in 81 games last season.
Chara and Weber are the kind of players that have been around a long time and theyve been here before, said Karlsson. Theyve been good for a number of years and they both had terrific seasons. I dont think I even have an understanding of what it takes to be great for that long.
They are great. I have a whole lot of respect for them as hockey players. They do it and they do it every night. They are game-changers both of them.
Karlsson finished with 1,069 votes, Weber finished with 1,057 votes and Chara wrapped it up with 950 votes in third place.

Pastrnak suspended two games for hit on Rangers' Girardi


Pastrnak suspended two games for hit on Rangers' Girardi

Bruins forward David Pastrnak has been suspended for two games by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers' Dan Girardi in Boston’s 5-2 loss on Wednesday night in New York.

Click on the link in the tweet below for a video of the hit and the NHL Department of Player Safety's explanation of the suspension.

Pastrnak, 20, had his hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Friday. It's his first suspension. 

The Bruins next two games are Saturday in Detroit and Tuesday in Florida. Pastrnak has a team-leading five goals and has eight points, second on the team to Brad Marchand (10). 

The hit came when Girardi reached up to catch a puck in the neutral zone 10:55 into the second period and Pastrnak came in hard and sent his left shoulder into Girardi’s chin. Pastrnak received a two-minute penalty for an illegal check to the head.

Girardi left the game as part of the NHL concussion protocol, but later returned.


Rask returns to Bruins practice, will travel to Detroit

Rask returns to Bruins practice, will travel to Detroit

BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Bruins welcomed back Tuukka Rask to the Warrior Ice Arena practice sheet on Friday morning after he took more than a week off the ice after re-aggravating his lower body injury in last week’s win over the Devils. 

Rask took part in 3-on-3 battle drills for a large chunk of the practice while backups Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban, both still with the team, practiced at the other end of the ice for most of the session. 

It remains to be seen if Rask can go against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, while troubled early in the season by the reported hamstring/groin issues, but the Finnish netminder was clearly practicing like he was going to play in Motown and Claude Julien said Rask is making the three-game trip. 

Julien said that Rask is feeling “good enough to at least backup right now.” That might pave the way for Rask to perhaps back up McIntyre on Saturday night, then step back in against divisional opponents at Florida on Tuesday and at Tampa Bay on Thursday. 

“[Rask] practiced today, and he’s coming on the trip. So we’ll see,” said Julien, who indicated that a goaltender [most likely Malcolm Subban] would be headed back to Providence. “He’s feeling good, so we’ll go day-by-day. He practiced well today and if he’s good tomorrow then there are no issues there. He looked good to me today, so we’ll make that decision. We’ve gone this far with him, so we’re going to make sure we make the right decision, and not the reckless one.”

It’s just as clear they desperately need him back given the shaky state of their defense after allowing a ghoulish 11 goals in their past two losses to the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers. 

David Backes was still missing from the practice ice while recovering from his elbow procedure, so Claude Julien was again mixing and matching the lines amid a three-game losing streak. 

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from practice: 









Liles-C. Miller