BruinsRed Wings: 5 from the First

BruinsRed Wings: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comBOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period of Bruins and Red Wings with Detroit taking a 2-1 lead over the Bs after the first 20 minutes at TD Garden.1)David Krejci has a goal and three assists in the two games since Claude Julien called him out a bit and basically said it was about time to get things going. Krejci has done just that, and was the right guy in the right place for a Bs power play goal that they badly needed prior to the end of the first period. Krejci was in the slot area when Milan Lucic battled for a loose puck near the right post, and fed a perfect pass to the Bs center as Jimmy Howard was out of position scraping for the puck.2)Not a lot of skating or effort in that first period by the Bruins particularly the first half of the period when they struggled to get their skating legs underneath them. Not shocking that they were outshot 12-7 in the period.3)Danny Cleary had a couple of shots on net and a goal, and was incredibly active in the first 20 minutes. The Wings managed to survive when he was down and out with injuries, but hes a difference-making in a playoff kind of way when hes healthy.4)Tuukka Rask was S-H-A-K-Y to start things off in the first period. The Todd Bertuzzi goal was a bit of an odd-man rush, but Rask still got a very good look at the shot and should have stopped it from rattling in. He managed to collect himself and avoid Claude Juliens hook, but he needs to tighten things up and not allow any more goals if the Bruins hope to come back. He like the rest of the team looked like he wasnt ready to start tonights game.5)Steve Kampfer had the fewest minutes of ice time (5:07) in the first period among Bs defensemen, and it looks like the Bruins scaled back a bit with their 22-year-old rookie in his first game against the team he rooted for as a kid growing up in Michigan. Might have been a few jitters for this one.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

bruins_tuukka_rask_110315.jpg

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious. 

Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

world-cup-bruins-marchand-091916.jpg

Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s a bit of a helpless feeling for an NHL general manager watching their star players participate in an intense hockey tournament like the World Cup of Hockey that doesn’t directly benefit their respective teams.

Not helpless because of the tournament’s outcome, obviously, but helpless because players could return from Toronto dinged up, or even worse significantly injured.

Aaron Ekblad had to shut it down for Team North American with what many speculated was a concussion, and Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is out a month, or more, with a broken hand sustained playing for the same young guns team.

So, it certainly must have been an uneasy few moments for Don Sweeney when Brad Marchand was pulled from Team Canada’s last game for the concussion protocol after a nasty-looking collision with Team Europe forward Marian Hossa.

Marchand went through the testing, and ended up returning to the game no worse for the wear. But it could have been a lot worse for a Bruins team that can’t afford to be missing Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara, who are still playing for teams alive in the semifinal round of the tourney.

“I would expect all of us to have been in a similar situation. For everybody - any general manager, coaches, staff, you're concerned about [injuries],” said Sweeney, talking about the World Cup and Marchand’s close call. “I mean, especially when you realize the stakes are going to go up as the tournament goes along. The pride involved - it's a risk. There's no question, it's a risk.

“But you also want to see them play their best hockey and they're not going to hold back. Yeah, it's a definite concern. You've got your fingers and toes crossed.”

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask have already returned to Boston fully healthy. David Backes should be joining the team anytime now after Team USA’s rude dismissal from the tournament. But Sweeney and the Bruins still have their sensors out for the three B’s players taking part that aren’t quite out of the woods yet before returning to B’s camp in one piece.