Haggerty: Kaberle deserves cheers in Garden return


Haggerty: Kaberle deserves cheers in Garden return

BOSTON -- If anything should make things all forgiven for the most recent chapters in Bruins history, it should be winning a Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion.

Sports Tonight Question of the Day: Will you cheer or boo Tomas Kaberle tonight? Let us know!

Who cares about the Joe Thornton trade anymore, aside from the fact it paved the way for signing Marc SavardZdeno Chara, and moving on to the next chapter in Bs history?
Do the past Bs ownership transgressions specifically those in not going after enough quality players with big price tags really matter with a league salary cap in effect, and a Stanley Cup in tow?

Who remembers anything from the Mike Sullivan era coaching the Bruins, with only Tim Thomas and Patrice Bergeron to show for that epoch in Black and Gold history?

Whats the point of all these scatter-brained Bruins questions from their long and sometimes distinguished history?

The point is everything thats past in recent Bruins history was prologue to them winning the Cup last season, and there are more than a few things that should be forgiven and forgotten.

The Bruins fan punching bags formerly known as Hal Gill and Dennis Wideman are two pretty good examples, but perhaps the best one is suiting up for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at TD Garden.

Tomas Kaberle was presented his Stanley Cup championship ring as hand-delivered by Peter Chiarelli on Tuesday morning, but hes also set for what should be an interesting reception from the Bs faithful tonight at puck drop.

Kaberle has his ring, hes got his name etched on the Cup, he had his bizarre medieval Cup celebration in the Czech Republic this summer, and he should be embraced with an appreciative round of applause from Bruins fans during his return to TD Garden as a visiting player.

As was the case with Jeremy Jacobs on banner-raising night against the Flyers, there really is no need for booing in the wake of winning the Cup when it comes to last years team.

While Kaberle wasnt as good as advertised upon arrival and he certainly didnt do a thing for the power play in his Boston stint he was also a contributing member of a Boston club that captured the Cup. An argument could be made that the Bruins dont win without Kaberle if Shane Hnidy was forced into regular action, and thats not even counting what might have happened when both Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid missed games during the run.

It was Kaberles stretch pass in Game 3 to a streaking Michael Ryder at the Bell Centre that helped wake up the Bruins, and proved to be a difference-maker in the series. Not only that, but the Bs power play is 1-for-21 to start this season as well so perhaps it wasnt all Kaberles fault that the Bs man advantage sucked swamp water throughout the postseason.

For better or worse Kaberle was a contributing member to a Bs team that brought the hockey holy grail back to Boston for the first time in 39 years, and that should be worth at least one congratulatory pat on the back in his return to the Hub.

To boil it down to simplest terms on Kaberle: dont hate, but appreciate.

There will be plenty of time for the vitriol to build back up and the hate reservoir to be filled for opponents after all the piping hot Phil Kessel and his Leafs will be here Thursday night but Tuesday night is a chance for Bs fans to rise above and accept another undeniable part of the Bs unfailingly entertaining Cup run.

Nobody is ever asking anyone to claim that Kaberle is the All-Star defenseman that he once was or was the best defensemen on the ice for the Bs during his time here, but a little applause for helping bring the Cup back to Boston isnt too much to ask for.

Its just the right thing to do if only once, and then go back to the regularly scheduled booing thats expected to take place for a hockey crowd thats now had a taste of greatness.

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