Passive aggressive Bobby V.

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Passive aggressive Bobby V.

To this point in the season, I'd say I've been a pretty consistent Bobby Valentine apologist. It's not that I think the guy is void of criticism, but more that there are some people around here who get off a little too much on picking apart his style.

On one hand, I get: The guy has a pretty specific reputation, and certainly showed some signs of being the same old Bobby V this winter. But on the other, it's been a decade since he's managed in the big leagues. I figure he at least deserves a chance to show what he can do in the regular season before we tie him up and ship him off to sea with Grady Little and Joe Kerrigan.

So yeah, that's where I stand. But I'll admit that once in a while, stuff comes out of his mouth that I just don't understand. Stuff that makes me realize why some believe that is tenure is already a sinking ship.

For instance, yesterday afternoon, when Valentine was asked about Josh Beckett's trip to the doctor.

I heard if he needed to talk to me he was going to talk to me, Valentine said. So he didnt talk to me, so hes fine. I think he was fine.

Come on now, Bobby! That's ridiculous. All that kind of passive aggressive talk does is set yourself up for disaster. I mean, if you haven't heard, then you haven't heard. But to suggest that it's Beckett's responsibility to provide you with this information, and then assume that if he didn't, then everything must be fine? That's dangerous.

Because what happens if he's really not OK?

Why put your relationship with Beckett on the line like?

What's the point?

That's what I'd like to find out. But in the meantime, I'll return you to your regularly scheduled helping of Bobby Valentine apologies.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

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.