Another lost night for Rask

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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.

May 1, 2016: With NHL draft order set, time to deal?

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May 1, 2016: With NHL draft order set, time to deal?

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after thinking Barack Obama gave Jeffrey Ross a run for his money as the Roast-master In Chief at last night’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

*The man behind the music at American Airlines Arena for the Dallas Stars’ games comes into the spotlight for a story.

 

*Don Cherry sings the praises of Joel Ward, wears a Toronto Marlies suit and said “it was time to go” for Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim.

 

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Penguins coach Mike Sullivan taking major issue with the head shot Brooks Orpik laid on Olli Maatta.

 

*The Maple Leafs secure the No. 1 overall pick in last night’s NHL Draft lottery, which will no doubt lead them to Auston Matthews.

 

*Now that the Edmonton Oilers have the No. 4 pick, Peter Chiarelli is open to trade options for those teams wanting to move up.

 

*Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is once again thriving in Ontario just a year after a major health scare.

 

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz on the unique journey for Brent Burns that culminated in his Norris Trophy finalist honor this week.

 

*Spector has the roundup of rumors including plenty of speculation on Kevin Shattenkirk once the Blues are done in the playoffs.

 

*For something completely different: a couple of reporters actually got into an actual fight at the White House Correspondent’s after-party. It sounds like they both kind of deserved a punch in the face, to be honest.

Eriksson named Lady Byng finalist for second time

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Eriksson named Lady Byng finalist for second time

Patrice Bergeron will have some Bruins company at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas at the end of the month of June.

Loui Eriksson was named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy on Saturday afternoon along with Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and Florida Panthers pivot Aleksander Barkov. It’s the second time in his career that Eriksson will be named a finalist for the award given annually "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

The Swedish winger finished his best season in a Bruins uniform with 30 goals (third on team) and 33 assists for the second most points (63) on the team along with 12 total penalty minutes through 82 games played. Eriksson was excited to once again be a finalist for the award, and to be lumped in with a couple of the NHL’s best players in Kopitar and Barkov.

“It is a great honor to be considered for the Lady Byng Trophy, an award that has been won by some of the best players of all time,” said Eriksson, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after three seasons in Boston. “There are many deserving candidates so to be named one of the finalists with Anze Kopitar and Aleksander Barkov is very exciting for me. Thank you to my teammates and the coaching staff and I appreciate all those who voted.”

The last Bruin to win the Lady Byng Trophy was Rick Middleton back in 1981-82, and Eriksson is the first B’s finalist for Lady Byng in more than 10 years.

Bruins will select 14th overall in first round

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Bruins will select 14th overall in first round

The Boston Bruins basically had a three percent of moving up into the top three of the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night, but they didn’t strike it draft rich when it was all said and done up in Toronto.

With Bruins general manager Don Sweeney in attendance representing the Original Six franchise, the Black and Gold were the first team logo selected in the draft lottery meaning they will own the 14th overall pick in the first round for the second straight summer.

Instead the Toronto Maple Leafs will select first overall after putting together the worst record in the NHL last season, and the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets won the lottery to move up into the second and third slots in the draft.

This marks the sixth time in franchise history that the club has owned the 14th overall selection in the NHL Draft. The Bruins drafted Jake DeBrusk 14th overall last summer in Florida at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Stephane Quintal 14th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Normand Leveille 14th overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Douglas Halward 14th overall in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft and Terry O’Reilly 14th overall in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft.

Based on finishing with the highest point total of all non-playoff teams for the second straight season, the Bruins owned a 1.0% chance of winning the 2016 Draft Lottery overall and a 3.4% chance of securing a top-three pick.

The 2016 NHL Draft will take place on June 24-25 at the First Niagara Center home of the Sabres in Buffalo just a couple of months from now, and the Bruins also own the first round pick of the San Jose Sharks that will end up somewhere in the 20’s based on the fact they’re still currently alive in the playoffs.