Rask (abdomingroin) could be ready for playoffs

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Rask (abdomingroin) could be ready for playoffs

While Marty Turco and Anton Khudobin have done an admirable job of filling in for Tuukka Rask over the last six weeks, it looks like Bostons backup goaltender might be ready for the playoffs.

Rask strained his groin and abdomen making a save against the New York Islanders back on March 3, and he has missed slightly more than five weeks with an injury expected to keep him out 4-6 weeks. Rask was on the ice skating on his own earlier this week while testing out the healing groin muscles, and Peter Chiarelli indicated the Finnish netminder might be able to serve as Tim Thomas backup Thursday night against the Washington Capitals.

Id characterize Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid as day-to-day in their respective injuries. I think Tuukkas is maybe a little bit more than day-to-day. Hes been pretty aggressive with his rehab, said Chiarelli. I dont have my calendar in front of me but I think he might be bang on with a six-week rehab. Well see how he goes the next couple of days, but we certainly have a capable backup in Anton Khudobin if Rask cant play.

If Rask cant go then it will be Khudobin, who made 44 saves in his first win as a member of the Bruins against the Senators, serving as the backup goaltender. Chiarelli confirmed that Turco will likely stick around the Bruins for the first couple of games of the playoffs, but then will be returning home rather than traveling with the Bruins during their playoff run.

Turco wasnt eligible for playoff duty after signing with the Bruins following the NHL trade deadline, and might even do some analyst work with the NHL Network once his commitment with the Bruins has finished.

Ive discussed it with Marty . . . hes got a couple of things he has to do. He wont be practicing with the team, said Chiarelli. I think hes going to be around until maybe the tail end of the week and then hes going to go home.

Some of this is obviously moot because Thomas is expected to be the guy for every minute of Bostons playoff run, but the ThomasRask tandem may be reunited for the beginning of the postseason.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.