Another lost night for Rask

574556.jpg

Another lost night for Rask

MONTREAL Tuukka Rask is trying not to get down.

But the losing and the lack of support cant be easy on a goaltender who's been on a long streak of buzzards luck.

The Finnish goaltender dropped to 0-3 for the season after losing, 4-2, to the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The defeat dropped Rask to 11-17-2 over the last two seasons, and perhaps served as the final nail in somebodys Black and Gold coffin after getting swept in the home-and-home series against their Montreal rivals

Is Rask sensing some frustration among his teammates?

Maybe sometimes when the puck isnt bouncing our way or going in, said Rask. We just cant play a 60-minute game. Thats been our thing now. There were some penalties that hurt us, but we played pretty good in the third period. Thats the way we need to play for 60 minutes and that will get us going.

Every game were trying to go out there and get a win. As a team were just not playing the way we should be, and its hurting us. But were making progress.

Rask wasnt spectacular, but he was still pretty good in a 23-save effort against a Canadiens team that attacked with speed and snapped off some pretty good scoring chances from all over the offensive zone.

In some instances Rask was up to the task, like when he properly read a potential Max Pacioretty breakaway chance and traveled way out of the net to cut off the possible scoring chance. In others he was beaten by goals he couldnt really be blamed for: Brian Gionta (a tip of a long point shot through four bodies skating in front of him on the Habs power play) and David Dasharnais (a power play rebound in front of the net after a mad scramble) both scored on good hockey plays that couldnt be helped. But Lars Eller beat Rask to the far side with a glove-high sniper shot, and thats one the Bruins goaltender wanted back after the game was over.

Rask has a 2.71 goals against average and a .906 save percentage after three games this season, and he knows he can be better if his playing time comes a little more frequently.

It was a tough screen with a pretty tough shot on Giontas goal, said Rask. "The second one was probably my fault, but the first and third one I had no chance on."

But the bottom line for Rask is a Bs offense thats produced a grand total of four goals in his three starts this season, and isnt giving him the kind of goal support he needs if hes going to be successful. One silver lining: the Bruins will start a stretch where theyre playing three or four games a week and Rask is going to get many more cracks at putting some wins in his ledger.

The Bruins and Rask need as many chances as they can get, with wins hard to come by over the first month of the season.

Blidh plans to bring some energy to Bruins after call-up

Blidh plans to bring some energy to Bruins after call-up

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Anton Blidh plans on keeping things pretty straightforward on his first call-up to the NHL. 

The former sixth-round pick of the Bruins has earned his stripes at the AHL level with Providence over the last couple of seasons, and comes to Boston as a gritty, energy forward capable of stirring things up in otherwise sleepy games. There’s also a bit of offensive upside for a fourth line-type player with five goals and nine points with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-eight rating in 19 games for the P-Bruins this season. 

It remains to be seen if the Blidh call-up means that the Bruins intend to scratch a player or that somebody is questionable for Saturday afternoon’s game in Buffalo, but Patrice Bergeron did miss Friday’s practice without any real defined reason for his absence. The 21-year-old Swede said he plans to play to his strengths if he gets into the lineup for the Black and Gold, and that could mean getting under the skin of his Sabres opponents. 

“It’s my first time called up, so I’m happy,” said Blidh, who was asked what he'll bring if he gets into the lineup. “I’ll just play simple and play my own game: be hard on the puck and play with some energy. I worked hard [in Providence] and then I got some confidence. I’m not a goal-scorer, but I scored a couple of goals and got some confidence.”

Claude Julien hasn’t been able to catch up Blidh’s work since the season got started, but was pleased by the youngster’s progress in training camp, where he earned notice for his feisty, physical play on a line with Noel Acciari. 

“They said he’s playing well, so they brought him up. We’ll get to see him, hopefully tomorrow,” said Julien. “I didn’t hear a ton of fine details aside from him being a guy that was certainly playing with a lot of energy. I didn’t mind him in training camp either. He works really hard and competes hard, and we could use that.”

That would certainly be the case after watching the Bruins go through the motions for long stretches Thursday night against Carolina before essentially stealing a game that they didn’t deserve to win. 

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.