McClure: Dice-K looks 'good'

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McClure: Dice-K looks 'good'

FORT MYERS, Fla. Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a bullpen session Saturday afternoon for Sox pitching coach Bob McClure as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery in June. He threw 40 pitches in a two simulated innings.

Good, McClure said of Matsuzakas outing. It was 40 pitches, threw 20 and then we have him sit down in the middle of an inning and do 20 more. But as far as what Im seeing from a health standpoint, its hard to tell he was ever even hurt by the way hes throwing a baseball. That doesnt mean hes ready. Just staying its free and easy its coming out of his hand really good, and its clean. Looks sharp. Hes on schedule.

What that means for when Matsuzaka could be back in a game McClure couldnt say.

I couldnt even venture into that right now, he said. Because you dont want to rush because of that surgery. So he may look better than he would if we moved him up to pitch. Because when you watch him right now it almost looks like he could pitch in a game. But thats not the right thing to do. You just dont want to go backwards. Hes worked too hard. Hes put a lot of time into this going forward. So we dont want to make any steps going backwards.

Matsuzaka will likely throw a few more bullpen sessions before progressing to batting practice.

I would say maybe a couple more of these bullpen sessions then maybe going into BP, McClure said. And then hell probably throw three or four batting practice sessions. Maybe the last one or last two where he throws a certain amount of pitches, sits down, comes back out, warms up and then does it again.

And then after he does that three or four times. It all depends on how many days he has in between Its all going to depend on how hes feeling and what the doctors say.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.