Bruins: No Campbell? No controversy

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Bruins: No Campbell? No controversy

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

VANCOUVER One of the few things that has soured Bostons trip to the Stanley Cup Finals has been the constant yammering from Vancouver and around the NHL, for that matter about unbiased calls and officiating are tilted toward the Bruins.

Its not just the normal rampant homerism in the Stanley Cup Final, however. There is a belief, most recently propagated by the Vancouver Provinces Tony Gallagher, that the fix is somehow in for the Bruins because NHL Hockey Ops Director Colin Campbells son Greg plays for Boston. It was an easy argument to make over the years despite the fact Campbell removed himself from any suspensions or other supplemental discipline decisions involving his sons team during his career with the Panthers and Bruins.

But now, with the news from multiple outlets that Campbell will be stepping down in his role as the NHLs sheriff (to be replaced by former All-Star Brendan Shanahan), the Colie Effect should be a moot point.

The younger Campbell was not made available for comment, but coach Claude Julien certainly thinks its a non-issue.

I dont think Greg has had any issues about it and neither have we, said Julien. Its been publicly known here that Gregs father had no decision to make with anything regarding our team. It was done fairly and it was somebody else dealing with those issues.

Even before Greg came to our hockey club, Ive always understood how tough Colies job was. Even when it didnt favor us, I always respected the decisions that had been made. Nothing has changed. Hes one of those guys thats no different than the referees. If he does something good nobody gives him a pat on the back, but the minute he does something people dont agree with hes criticized from all sides. It takes somebody special to do that job. Im one of those people that respect the jobs that people have in this game, and that includes referees. I dont think it will affect Gregs game much. His father is still with the league. Basically theres a responsibility being taken away from him for now.

One of Campbells outspoken teammates, Andrew Ference, put things a little more succinctly when asked about the supposed Colie Effect on the Bruins.

Colie doesnt deal with any of our stuff, so it doesnt matter, said Ference. Those insinuations are coming from people that have a lot less faith in the league than I do.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Cassidy quells goaltender controversy: 'Tuukka's our No. 1 goalie'

Cassidy quells goaltender controversy: 'Tuukka's our No. 1 goalie'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While the sequence of events over the past couple of days could understandably lead one to wonder who will start between the pipes for the Bruins on Tuesday night vs. Nashville, interim coach Bruce Cassidy tried to quell any hint of a goalie controversy.

The vote of confidence was certainly needed after Anton Khudobin’s fifth consecutive win halted the B's four-game losing streak with a huge 2-1 victory over the Islanders on Saturday night in the wake of Rask’s absence while tending to a short-term lower body issue.  

“[Rask] had a good practice today. I spoke with him. We’ll see how he wakes up tomorrow and we’ll make our decision. He’s our No. 1 goalie, so there’s no way we can skirt our way around that issue. He’s our No. 1 and his health is very important. When he’s physically ready to go and he tells me that, then we’ll make that decision,” said Cassidy. “He’s a guy that’s played a lot of hockey this year...and he’s not a 240-pound goaltender that can handle all of the games, all of the workload every year. We know that. I’m not going to put limitations on him, but we probably overused him at the start of the year. At this time of year, it gets tougher and tougher with any player that’s been overplayed.

“That’s why we have two goaltender, and [Anton Khudobin] has really stepped up in that last stretch and done what’s asked of him. He’s fixed that area of our game. It’s nice to have a guy that’s your No. 2 that can win you hockey games and play well. It’s a great problem to have, to be honest with you. But Tuukka is our No. 1. But Tuukka is our No. 1. He’s our guy.”

Rask declared himself fit to play after going through a full Monday practice with no issues, but said he’s still waiting to hear the final word on whether he’ll play on Tuesday night vs. the Predators. The Bruins franchise goalie also said he isn’t worried about any recurrence of the lower body injury that “popped up” in the Tampa Bay loss Thursday night, which really doesn’t bring any clarity to the entire situation.

“It was a good day back on the ice. I feel good. We’ll see what the decision is [for the Nashville game], but I feel good today,” said Rask, who is 8-8 with a .892 save percentage and a 2.91 goals-against average since the All-Star break, compared to Khudobin’s 2-0-0 with a .920 save percentage and 1.98 goals-against average. “You need to put the best lineup out as possible, and I wasn’t in any shape to play. So, there are no easy decisions this time of year, but I’ve played a lot of hockey and injuries happen. We talked to the training staff and managers and came to a decision that [Khudobin] was going to play the game, and that’s it.

“It’s obviously tough from a personal standpoint, but it’s never about one guy or two guys. It’s a team game and I feel confident that we’re going to get the job done as long as we play the way we did. It was great to see.”

Clearly, it looks like Rask is going to play vs. Nashville and that’s the safe, easy decision when it comes to a No. 1 goalie getting paid $7 million a season and perhaps it all works out with a fired up Finnish netminder after sitting out Saturday night. But nobody is going to be faulted if they wonder what’s going to wrong with Rask ahead of the next gigantic game Boston will have to play with the Stanley Cup playoffs on the line. 

Krejci leaves practice early with 'upper body issue'

Krejci leaves practice early with 'upper body issue'

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins returned to work on Monday after a big win over the weekend, but were one man down by the end of practice at Warrior Ice Arena. David Krejci exited the ice early on Monday and coach Bruce Cassidy said that the playmaking center is battling a bit of an upper body issue.

That was the reason for his abbreviated practice appearance ahead of the game Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

“He’s got a bit of an upper body issue, he’s got a little discomfort,” said Cassidy of Krejci, who has one point and a minus-4 rating over his past four games. “He got treated and I believe he’ll be fine tomorrow. I don’t think it’s anything major, but I can’t speculate [on it]. But that’s the issue.”

There was no play that sticks out from the Saturday night win over the Islanders were Krejci might have hurt himself, but the team’s hope is obviously that it’s something the 30-year-old can keep playing through.

With Krejci having left the ice, Ryan Spooner bumped up to the second line with the following line combos and D-pairings finishing out an hour-long practice:

 
Marchand-Bergeron-Backes

Stafford-Spooner-Pastrnak

Vatrano-Nash-Hayes

Beleskey-Moore-Acciari

 
Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

C. Miller-K. Miller

 
Rask