Spooner ready to start despite uncertain future


Spooner ready to start despite uncertain future

Ryan Spooner doesnt know exactly what the future holds for him, but he will be either in Boston or Providence.

The Bs playmaking prospect spent the last couple of days with Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto, and is now spending his final days in the Ottawa area before prepping for his first training camp as a professional hockey player.

The 20-year-old Spooner said that hes all the way up to 186 pounds from the 174 pounds when he was drafted in the second round by the Bruins back in 2010, and he's still working on building size and strength headed into camp next month.

The most important thing is that the season starts on time. All you can do is just hope that it starts when it should, said Spooner. Its not going to do me any good to dwell on the negatives and maybe cut any corners because you dont think the season is going to start on time.

Ive been doing a lot of edge work and a lot of evasive stuff with spins and stick-handling to develop my game when Im in tight with the puck in heavy traffic. In the gym Ive focused on strengthening muscles that are weak like my hip flexors and my groin. Its better to be in the lineup than to be hurt, and that gives me the best chance to make the big club.

It could be with the rest of the Bruins rookies on September 15 or with the Providence Bruins on September 28, but either way Spooner will be wearing a Black and Gold sweater this season.

Hell also be thinking positive thoughts about a potential lockout that seems more inevitable with each passing day despite the fact both sides are still talking over the labor issues.

Ive been skating a lot back home: two or three times a day and doing stick-handling drills. Ive been working a lot with Derrick Brassard from Columbus and Calvin DeHaan from the Islanders, said Spooner. I actually just got back from Quebec City for a charity tournament where I played with a bunch of the NHL guys from Quebec. So its been a pretty fun summer, but Im back in the gym working hard now to get ready for camp.

Its my third camp and Im excited to get back at it. Ive been skating with a lot of pro guys, so hopefully that helps me out in main camp when it starts. If that doesnt work out then Ill start off in the American Hockey League and have plenty of fun.

Spooner finished last year with 29 goals and 66 points splitting time between two junior hockey teams (the Kingston Frontenacs and the Sarnia Sting) before wrapping things up with the Providence Bruins.

The skilled center has produced seven points in eight AHL games over the last two seasons, and is aiming to become a point-per game player in the professional ranks starting next year. His talent is clearly there and his work ethic has risen noticeably over the last couple of years for Spooner. Now its all about keeping that consistent professional mindset no matter where the begins the season in the face of an impending lockout.

Spooners time will come, and a few months in the AHL might not be such a bad thing at the end of the day.

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