By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON -- Word about hockey injuries always begins to filter out after the season has been completed, and that's begun to happen with the last hockey club standing with the Cup.
Bruins coach Claude Julien didn't have any final word on surgeries or potential injury rehab work over the summer when he spoke to the media on Sunday, but he added another name to the list of injured Bruins.
Milan Lucic was playing through a broken toe for at least a portion of the playoffs, and that certainly hampered his skating and ability to move around in short explosive bursts. Julien didn't expand on the details of Lucic's broken toe, but said that plenty of players were battling through injuries.
Lucic later confirmed that he busted his right bigtoe when he tooka Tyler Seguin shot off the foot at practiceduring the Tampa Bay series, and that it washurting himquite a bit for the duration of the conference finals.
"I don't know about surgeries, but I can tell you that a lot of guys were playing banged up," said Julien. "There were never any real times where the training staff said, 'I can't get this player ready to go for the game,' but guys definitely played through stuff."There is no surgery for a broken big toe, and Lucic said the pain and swelling will simply go away over the next couple of weeks. "I was playing the last thirteen games with a broken toe. I dont know, Im sure you guys saw me limping around a little bit, but definitely was tough to play through," said Lucic. "Thank God for freezing and Novocain to make it feel good. Its all healed up now, so its all good. I think if you tried to break my leg I would have gone out there and played with it."Lucic also said he was dealing with a sinus infection through the final regular seasongames and the first round of the playoffs, and it made him "feel like his head was in a fog" all the time. The Bruins left wing has sinus surgery planned for this summer to correct the issue, and should have a clean bill of health headed into next season.
There had been plenty of speculation about Lucic playing with an injury when the power forward struggled at times while putting up 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 25 games with a plus-11 during the postseason. While every hockey player worth their salt would play through that kind of injury in the playoffs, it undoubtedly affected his performance in the last two rounds.
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BRIGHTON -- The Bruins took Wednesday off and returned Thursday with assurances they weren’t thinking about history repeating itself for a third straight season.
The easy parallels are there, of course.
The Bruins lost 9 of their final 14 games and missed the playoffs by a point two years ago. Last season they went a pathetic 3-8-1 in the final 12 games and once again missed the postseason by a single point.
So their recent three-game losing streak has set off some warning bells and whistles, as has the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs have passed them and pushed the B’s into the second wild-card position. Boston holds a slim two-point lead over the New York Islanders for that final playoff position, and is facing huge games against the Tampa Bay Lightning (tonight) and the Isles (Saturday).
So with all that in mind, has interim coach Bruce Cassidy’s message changed at all to his players?
“These are teams [close to the Bruins to the standings, so the games] get more magnified and rightfully so,” said Cassidy. “We accept that and we know what’s at stake. The last two didn’t go the way we wanted them to, but the things we do well, we need to keep doing well. We’ve created some looks at the net. We’re generating some offense. We need to finish a little better, and those pockets of the game that get away from us . . . we need to minimize those. We had a few too many of those [moments] against Ottawa.
“We’re aware of it. We know who won and who lost last night. But we need to take care of our business. If we do, we’ll be fine. We really will. If we take of our business, it doesn’t matter what this team does or what that team does.
"That’s a fact. That’s the message. It’s quite simple. If we take care of business, we’ll be fine. If we don’t, then we’re hoping.”
Clearly taking care of their business includes dispatching both the Lightning and the Islanders. Hoping is what the Bruins ended up doing in each of the previous two seasons, and it left them fully out of luck once the music stopped.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while having never said “break a leg” for good luck to fellow Stoneham, Mass., native Nancy Kerrigan on social media, or otherwise.
*A brief video history of Sidney Crosby spearing, or otherwise targeting, opponents in the crotches prepared with care and thought by the Puck Daddy himself, Greg Wyshynski.
*Elliotte Friedman has his 30 thoughts for the week and a few of them centered around new Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.
*Could the NBA’s star-resting phenomenon reach into the NHL when it comes to getting in-season time off for the superstars?
*Give the Leafs credit because they picked up coach Mike Babcock when he made a rare screw-up against the Blue Jackets.
*Check out the sick USA/Russia skating kicks on Alex Ovechkin, who had them custom made for a charity event.
*Speaking of Ovechkin, could T.J. Oshie and not Ovechkin actually lead the Capitals in scoring this season?
*For something completely different: Hide the women and children, the Scorpions and Megadeath are going on a North American tour together.