Rask appreciative of Thomas as friend, mentor

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Rask appreciative of Thomas as friend, mentor

Tuukka Rask would probably qualify as Tim Thomas closest teammate on the current Bruins roster.
After all, they were goaltending partners over the last three seasons in Boston, and goalies tend to be a little removed from the rest of the players in your garden variety hockey dressing room.
But even Rask was surprised by Thomas decision to walk away from the Bruins and sit out the 2012-13 hockey season while living with his family on their new Colorado compound.
I was surprised and I wasnt. I wasnt expecting him to do that, obviously. But I really appreciate what hes done and his decision to be with his family while taking some time away from hockey, said Rask. It really didnt shock me that much. I am more sad to see him leave because we had a connection and a friendship going on. But Im sure hes happy where he is and that he gets to spend time with his family.
Everybody knew that he was tired because he had played a lot over the last couple of years, but it didnt seem like he was exhausted mentally or anything like that. It will be a little bit weird with him not sitting next to me, but Ill have to get used to it.
The surprise was tinged with a level of appreciation that Thomas unorthodox decision has opened the door for Rask to finally take over Bostons starting reigns. But one thing Rask and Thomas had never talked about was the outspoken goalies opinions about politics, lifestyles or pretty much anything outside the arena of hockey.
So Rask didnt have much of an opinion about any of Thomas politics.
I look at things a little differently because hes a friend of mine. I dont really care what he says on Facebook or whatever. We dont talk about that kind of stuff and hes always been good to me. I had been home for two or three days in Finland when Thomas decided to take the year off and somebody called me about it, said Rask. It takes the excitement out of it for you guys in the media. There was always this controversy going around thats gone now, but maybe it will be between me and Anton Khudobin next year. Who knows?
Everybody wants to start. If he steps back and takes a look at his situation and then comes back, then he comes back. But I just need to go out and do whatever I can like always.
The Finnish goalie said he hasnt contacted Thomas because his cell phone wasnt working in Finland, but that hed be reaching out to his puck-stopping mentor in the next few days.

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while fully getting in the holiday spirit by getting the family Christmas tree this week.

*Very good and very sobering story about Craig Cunningham’s slow recovery, and his large support system with the AHL Roadrunners team he is captaining this season. It sounds like it might be a bit of a long road for him, so he and his family will need that support from those around him.

*Tyler Seguin has his shot back, and that’s great news for the Dallas Stars power play. So is that like Stella getting her groove back?

*A KHL player went into a sliding dab formation in order to celebrate a goal on the ice, and we salute him for that.

*The Maple Leafs are trying to fortify their backup goaltending situation after waiving Jhonas Enroth this week.

*Interesting Bob McKenzie piece about a young man that’s hoping to challenge conventional thinking in the hockey coaching ranks.

*TSN’s Scott Cullen takes a look at Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine’s shooting skills as part of his “Statistically Speaking” column.

*For something completely different: the hits just keep on coming for Netflix as they’re going to double their TV series output over the next year.

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.

Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury. 

Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game. 

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Schaller-Krejci-Backes

Spooner-Nash-Czarnik

Blidh-Moore-Hayes/Acciari

Chara-Carlo

Morrow-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

Rask

Khudobin