Haggerty: 15 thoughts on Bruins-Rangers


Haggerty: 15 thoughts on Bruins-Rangers

NEW YORK CITY Here are five thoughts after the third period with the Bruins and Rangers headed to overtime at a 3-3 score after the first 60 minutes of action at Madison Square Garden in a Wednesday Night Rivalry game on NBC Sports Network.

FIRST PERIOD1) How about that Marian GaborikRick NashBrad Richards line that John Tortorella has put together after struggling out of the gate? Gaborik finished with both goals in the first period after a slow start to his season, but it was a team effort getting both those scores. The second goal actually came after Tortorella double-shifted the trio to get them on the ice without Zdeno Chara defending, and that allowed Gaborik to walk in close to the net with Dougie Hamilton far out of position and way away from the net. The first goal was just a nice play set up by a redirected Richards pass in the neutral zone that turned into a NashGaborik 2-on-1 odd man rush. Eight shots on net in the first period for that trio.2) Dougie Hamilton is learning quickly tonight that players like Nash and Gaborik are a lot better than top players on Winnipeg like Blake Wheeler and Olli Jokinen. Hamilton is being paired with Andrew Ference tonight to perhaps keep him away from those dangerous Rangers forwards as you could see the damage they could do when Hamilton was out of position and wandering far away from the net prior to New Yorks second goal. Those are the biggest areas of weakness for the 19-year-old in his rookie season.3) Good job by Adam McQuaid standing up for himself and trying to stir up the emotional pot a little bit when Brian Boyle fired a puck at his leg after the whistle had blown the play off-sides. McQuaid immediately went after Boyle and landed a few heavy rights on the 6-foot-7 Hingham native, and was slapped with a two-minute penalty for instigating the fight. Pretty ridiculous given Boyles antics, but the Bruins will gladly accept that for a player sticking up for himself.4) The Bruins are 0-for-2 on the power play tonight and 0-for-11 on the season, and there is nobody really asserting themselves on that unit. Tyler Seguin was named the quarterback of the power play during camp and has the ability to do damage from the half-wall, but hes playing way too passively right now and it shows. Too many shots passed up on the PP in the first 20 minutes tonight.5) Funny how the Rangers look like the Bruins did on Saturday night, and the Bruins look like the Rangers did in the home opener at the Garden, isnt it?

1) Bruins fight back in the second period with energy and determination they didnt seem to have in the first period. They outshot the Rangers by a 12-7 margin and finally broke through for a pair of goals to get back in the game. Of course the Rangers scored 46 seconds later for the go-ahead goal, but the Bruins got off the mat in the second period to make it a hockey game.2) The Bs comeback started with the second power play unit finally breaking through after 11 fruitless tries. It was Dougie Hamilton that helped create the scoring play by firing a puck from the high point that Brad Marchand redirected into the open net for Bostons first goal. Watching Hamilton make plays while working the blueline like a tightrope artist on the PP gives you an idea of just good hes going to be for a long, long time. The assist was Hamiltons first NHL point and it was an important.3) Milan Lucic now has two goals in three games, and battled for a couple of rebounds in front before finally backhanding a shot through Henrik Lundqvist. No hits tonight for Lucic, but hes been active offensively with three shots on net.4) The Bruins have gone to a five-man defensemen rotation since Aaron Johnson was on ice for Taylor Pyatts go-ahead goal. Seems like he might not be in the Claude Julien circle of trust at this point.5) The Bs fourth line also couldnt get the puck out of the zone when Shawn Thornton had a chance to clear it right before the goal. Those are the kinds of plays that the fourth line needs to make if theyre going to be used in those situations.

1) Four hits for Adam McQuaid, who continues to lay the lumber physically. Though he did get called for a boarding in the third period when a Rangers skater took a flying leap into the boards.2) The LucicHortonKrejci line deserved more offensive results after the way they played, and both Horton and Lucic get goals tonight. The Horton one was a big game-tying strike nearly a year to the day after he suffered a concussion that knocked him out for the season.3) Dougie Hamilton has more skill than any defenseman the Bruins have had on their time in a long, long time. He made one play where he corralled a bouncing puck at the blue line and dangled through traffic before firing from the high slot. You never see a D-man do that for the Bruins in this day and age.4) Havent seen much offensive impact from Chris Bourque through the first three games. He needs to find a way to get into the mix offensively and be the guy that he was for the P-Bruins.5) Tuukka Rask made a pair of game-saving stops in the final minute of the third period when he stopped a Rick Nash full blast wrister through traffic and then recovered enough to jump on a Marian Gaborik follow attempt. Those were No. 1 franchise goaltender kind of stops. Big time. Twenty eight saves for Rask in this one. Hes been good again tonight.

Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team


Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while saying RIP Vine but not really feeling it since it’s a rabbit hole I never really delved down into. 

*Down Goes Brown celebrates the “NHL’s old guys”, and yes, that means a gratuitous shout out to Zdeno Chara as the top defenseman on the All-Graybeard squad. 

*Hampus Lindholm has signed a long term deal with the Anaheim Ducks, so now that deal leaves everybody to wonder who is leaving the Anaheim roster in the eventual salary cap crunch. It will be interesting to see if this hastens any Cam Fowler trade talk as far as the Bruins are concerned because it looks like they need the help.  

*Pro Hockey Talk has the Oilers off to their best start since the Wayne Gretzky Era and people in Edmonton finally getting to see the hockey they’ve been waiting for over the past few years. 

*In honor of the Halloween season that we’re in, here are a few cool and scary goalie masks with a bit of spooky flair. 

*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is confident that his young team is going to rebound after a rough start to the season. 

*Speaking of creative uniforms, it’s a most wonderful time of the year for hockey when they bust out their Oktoberfest sweaters. 

*For something completely different: this matchup of Peanuts and Stranger Things hits all the right notes for fans of both. 


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?

While the good news is that it doesn’t appear that Tuukka Rask is dealing with a knee injury, there are still some significant muscular issues to work with concerning his left leg. 

According to former Bruins defenseman and NHL analyst Aaron Ward on CSN’s Great American Hockey Show podcast, the Bruins franchise goaltender has been dealing with a hamstring issue that’s also become a hamstring and groin issue as he tried to play through in the first week of the season. Rask clearly tweaked something in his left leg opening night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, missed the Saturday night loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and then appeared to aggravate the injury in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils. 

According to Ward, it’s hamstring and groin issues for Rask as the Bruins attempt to survive without him while potentially working toward a possible return for the Finnish netminder this weekend vs. the Red Wings. Rask hasn’t skated with the Bruins since finishing out the 2-1 win over the Devils last Thursday night, and tweaking the problematic left leg in the process. 

“What I was told is that it was left leg, and that at first it was hamstring and now it’s possibly hamstring and groin,” said Ward to CSN Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty on the Great American Hockey Show podcast. “You’re always concerned when you’re a goalie and it’s your legs, right? It’s the push-off. The crazy part was watching it on video where the shoot came from the left side and went wide, and the next time he injures it shot comes from the same spot, misses it wide and [Rask] is in the exact same position wincing.

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“I think [the Bruins] are smart rather than trying to play a guy that’s 90, 80 or 70 percent, whatever it is, to just get it over with. Endure the short term pain to get the greater gain, and that’s having Rask in there. There’s no greater endorsement to keep him out than seeing the [bad losses without him] because you need a healthy Tuukka to let the rest of the team settle.”

It’s been disastrous without Rask, of course, as the Bruins have allowed 11 goals in back-to-back losses to the Wild and Rangers with rookies Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre between the pipes, and Anton Khudobin out for three weeks while sporting a cast on his right hand in the last B’s game at TD Garden. 

Meanwhile, Rask (3-0-0, 1.67 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage) is trying to heal and time it perfectly so he returns once he’s past the danger of potentially blowing out the muscles in his left leg and making the situation even worse than it already might be. 

Ward also discusses his relationship with "Toucher & Rich" and the "Cuts for a Cause" charitable event that he helped start.