Boston Bruins

Rask, Marchand named NHL All-Stars for first time

Rask, Marchand named NHL All-Stars for first time

ST. LOUIS – The expectation was always that goalie Tuukka Rask was going to make the NHL All-Star Game when it was announced, but the Bruins got a pleasant surprise on Tuesday when both Rask and Brad Marchand were named to the Atlantic Division team.

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It’s a first-time honor for Rask and Marchand and continues to illustrate the changing of the guard on Boston’s roster, where in years past Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron were standby selections for the Black and Gold. Marchand was excited about the unanticipated honor and is looking forward to the big stage after starring for Team Canada in the World Cup of Hockey earlier this season.

For the second year in a row, the format is a 3-on-3 tournament, with players split into four teams by division. The All-Star Game is Jan. 29 in Los Angeles. 

“It’s a huge honor. It’s something that I never really expected to see during my career, especially coming in [to the league],” said Marchand, who leads the B’s with 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 43 games this season. “But it’s something I’ll be very proud of and it should be a lot of fun.

“There’s been a lot going on and it’s been a long year, so [an All-Star nod] hadn’t really been on my mind at all. With the way it was there is one guy needed from each team, and I expected that [Tuukka Rask] would be there. So I didn’t think a whole lot about it, but it’s a huge honor.”

Clearly, Marchand wondered if he’d always be viewed nationally as a pest and a troublemaker rather than an All-Star, but the 37 goals last season combined with the World Cup performance have clearly changed his perception around the league to a large degree.

With Rask preparing for Tuesday night’s start against the Blues at the Scottrade Center, the Bruins netminder is going to wait until after the game to comment on his first All-Star appearance. The 29-year-old Rask is tied for first in the NHL in shutouts (5), third in the NHL in goals-against average (1.93), tied for third in the NHL in wins (20) and tied for fifth in the NHL in save percentage (.928) this season while carrying a Bruins team that has been decidedly average on many nights.

Here’s the full squad of NHL players invited to the NHL All-Star Game with B’s right winger David Pastrnak standing as a worthy Bruins player who didn’t get the invite this time around:

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Forwards
Nikita Kucherov
Brad Marchand
Auston Matthews
Frans Nielsen
Kyle Okposo
Vincent Trocheck

Defensemen
Victor Hedman
Erik Karlsson
Shea Weber

Goaltenders
Carey Price (C)
Tuukka Rask

METROPOLITAN DIVISION

Forwards
Sidney Crosby (C)
Taylor Hall
Evgeni Malkin
Alex Ovechkin
Wayne Simmonds
John Tavares

Defensemen
Justin Faulk
Seth Jones
Ryan McDonagh

Goaltenders
Sergei Bobrovsky
Braden Holtby

CENTRAL DIVISION

Forwards
Patrick Kane
Patrik Laine
Nathan MacKinnon
Tyler Seguin
Vladimir Tarasenko
Jonathan Toews

Defensemen
P.K. Subban (C)
Duncan Keith
Ryan Suter

Goaltenders
Corey Crawford
Devan Dubynk

PACIFIC DIVISION

Forwards
Connor McDavid (C)
Jeff Carter
Johnny Gaudreau
Bo Horvat
Ryan Kesler
Joe Pavelski

Defensemen
Brent Burns
Drew Doughty
Cam Fowler

Goaltenders
Martin Jones
Mike Smith

Morning Skate: Pastrnak stalemate 'could go into training camp'

Morning Skate: Pastrnak stalemate 'could go into training camp'

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while thoroughly enjoying all the pictures and videos of John Martin and his beautiful family enjoying themselves at Steve Buckley’s Olde Time Baseball Game last night.

*In the interest of self-promotion: Here I am discussing the current state of affairs with David Pastrnak and the Bruins, and what it means to Boston’s other younger players if they don’t pay him what he’s due.

*Another thing in the interest of self-promotion: I spoke with Toucher and Rich this a.m. about how David Pastrnak hit the RFA market at exactly the right time for a big payday.

*Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan talks about a visit he paid to Phil Kessel in Toronto over the last couple of weeks.

*So, apparently Tyler Seguin thinks he can create a nickname for himself. Hasn’t anybody ever explained to him that you can’t choose your own nickname?

*The first edition of the 2018 draft rankings are out by the Hockey News, and it looks like a better draft class than this past summer.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Tampa Bay Lightning joining a joint effort in Tampa to move Confederate monuments.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski has another in his “What If…?” series asking what might have happened if Terry Pegula owned the Buffalo Sabres in the 1990’s.

*For something completely different: I can be hit or miss with Tina Fey’s comedy, but I thought her sheet cake-filled take on last weekend’s ugly, tragic events were both on-point and funny.