WINNIPEG After getting an off night against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, goaltender Tuukka Rask is back in the saddle against the Winnipeg Jets after hopping onto the ice as the first Bruins skater for pregame warm-ups at the MTS Centre. Rask is 6-1-2 with a 2.07 goals against average and a .919 save percentage this season for the Black and Gold.
Hell be opposed by Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who had one of his best games of the season in a shootout loss to the Jets earlier this season.
Milan Lucic is out of the lineup for personal reasons, and 38-year-old free agent signee Jay Pandolfo will be making his Boston Bruins debut before the team he grew up rooting for in Burlington, Mass. Pandolfo will join the fourth line in Sundays game, and the rest of the forward lineup will be a little scrambled with Rich Peverley filling into Milan Lucics vacant spot. Here are the expected forward lines and defense pairings for Sundays game against the Jets:
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while refraining from shoving any world leaders today.
*Larry Robinson and the San Jose Sharks are parting after working together for five seasons, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz.
*Speaking of Kurz, he also has a Sharks mailbag on which players are most likely to be traded out of San Jose during the offseason. Somebody has got to go, and you’d think it would be somebody without much tread left on the tires.
*Moving on to other topics, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said that losing a Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators was the “toughest” loss of his career. I don’t see how this is possible. You see, Kesler is no slouch at falling short. In fact, he’s a tremendous loser, having dropped a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at home in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and also having lost a Gold Medal Game for Team USA at the hands of Sidney Crosby and Canada in 2010 in overtime that was also played in Vancouver. It took a simple Google search to find an actual postgame video of Kesler crying into his hockey glove on the bench in the aftermath of Game 7 vs. the Bruins. So, pardon me if I’m not buying Kesler talking about a conference finals loss as the worst of his career when he was one home win away from being a Stanley Cup champion in Game 7, and proceeded to lose like he’s done many, many times in the most important games of his career. Dude, you’ve been through tougher losses. Trust me on that one.
*The idea of trading Alex Ovechkin might be gaining some traction with the Capitals fan base, but it doesn’t seem to be based on reality at this point.
*The pride of Melrose, Mass, Conor Sheary, delivered in Game 7 for the Penguins as they return to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.
*Bobby Ryan said his strategy for success in the playoffs, at least in part, was staying off the phone. Maybe he ought to try that a bit more during the regular season.
*Congrats to the folks at NBC for another successful Red Nose Day that featured a reunion of the “Love Actually” cast among other things.