Celebrity NHL fans speak out on lockout

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Celebrity NHL fans speak out on lockout

The lockout is approaching an entire month lost to CBA negotiations, and this week represents a big milestone as the NHL regular season was expected to kick off this weekend.

The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to speak this week, and thats an encouraging sign. But both sides are also stuck at an impasse over core economic issues as the NHL wont entertain further negotiations until the players agree to some form of cuts from last years 1.87 billion slice of the Hockey Revenue pie.

It doesnt appear there will be progress until the NHL shows some bend so instead the AHL is set to debut this weekend and college hockey kicked off last weekend as New England's hockey placeholders in the NHLs absence.

The NHL has ticked off some fans with another work stoppage so soon after an entire year was lost to the 2004-05 labor war, and theyve pounded Gary Bettman and the NHL owners with impunity on social media avenues like Twitter and Facebook.

The most notably upset fans? The celebrities, of course.

The NHL loves to trot out their celebrity fans during the regular season and they get a spotlight during the Stanley Cup Finals while rooting for their favorite team. But the puck love of celebrities can be a double-edged sword, and many of those same familiar faces have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure with the NHL over the last few weeks.

Heres a sampling of those tweets while admitting that none of these celebrities exactly qualify as A-list, but theyre all superstars when it comes to the Twitter word:

The Iron Sheik: Famous WWF wrestler and bon vivant
NHL deserve german suplex and camel clutch The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) September 16, 2012

Wil Wheaton: Played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek and was in the classic movie Stand By Me
I turned on NHL13, and Gary Bettman came on my screen telling me the entire game is locked DLC. I offered to pay, but he wanted 57 more. Wil Wheaton (@wilw) September 30, 2012

Dave Coulier: Joey on Full House, with many smartly suggesting he should have told the NHL to cut it out
Hey @nhl you're not just locking out the players, but all the fans and workers as well. Dave Coulier (@DaveCoulier) September 17, 2012

Colin Hanks: Actor, son of Tom Hanks and big Los Angeles Kings fans

(12) Bummed that more NHL games have been cancelled due to lock out. But the little thought of fact that really stings? Colin Hanks (@ColinHanks) October 5, 2012

(22) This NHL lockout also means no billboard campaign this year with images of the LAKINGS holding the STANLEY CUP over their heads Colin Hanks (@ColinHanks) October 5, 2012

On one level, the anger and frustration is a good sign, but what has to concern the NHL is that so many other fans are turning the page and moving on without hockey. Theres a kind of indifference and a lockout-weariness that appears to be setting in with a fan base thats been left at the altar one too many times. Once games are missed and that really begins to catch hold, then anger turns into apathy, and the NHL will truly be killing a golden goose that poured 3.3 billion into their coffers last season.

Thats got to be a scary thought for the guy named Bettman thats pulling the levers and pushing all the buttons behind the curtain right now.

Rask skates, expected to play tonight vs. Red Wings

Rask skates, expected to play tonight vs. Red Wings

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins held an optional morning skate on Tuesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena with little more than a handful of B’s players skating, but the most important player to Boston success, Tuukka Rask, was taking part after missing practice on Monday.

Rask missed Monday’s practice session while getting checked out medically following his exit from Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh due to vision issues. He said on Tuesday that it was all related to migraines that have cropped up a couple of times in his NHL career. The Bruins No. 1 netminder also said he was good to play on Tuesday night against the Red Wings with just a couple of home games left until this weekend’s All-Star break.

That was the kind of good news embattled coach Claude Julien was looking for as Boston looks to end its season-worst, four-game losing streak.

“We’ve got good news so far, so that’s nice to see,” Julien said of Rask, who has started 13 of Boston’s past 14 games dating to a Dec. 27 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. “Obviously it was because of the migraines, so hopefully we won’t see much more of that.”

In other Black and Gold health news, both Colin Miller and Kevan Miller have been cleared to play, and are expected to rejoin the B’s lineup with John-Michael Liles and Joe Morrow headed for healthy scratches. Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings as the Red Wings arrive for a divisional tilt after a shootout loss for Boston last week at Joe Louis Arena:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Vatrano-Krejci-Backes

Schaller-Nash-Beleskey

Spooner-Moore-Hayes

 
Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller


Rask
 

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.