Countdown to Game 7: B's work on power play


Countdown to Game 7: B's work on power play

By Danny Picard

BOSTON -- As the Bruins mentally prepare for tonights Game 7 with theTampa Bay Lightning at the TD Garden, one thing on their minds will be thepower play.

The Bruins did score a power-play goal in Wednesday nightsloss in Tampa, and finished the game 1-for-5 on the man advantage. Only problemwas, the Lightning went 3-for-4.

On Friday morning, Bruins coach Claude Julien said theresno room for panic about the power play, which has struggled mightily thispostseason. All they can do now is generate more shots.

You cant let it mentally get to you, said Julien. I think youve got tohave some resilience. Youve got to have some determination. And thats whatwere pushing our guys to be. Last game, 1-out-of-5 is 20 percent. And I think20 percent is usually pretty good, but when the other team is 3-for-4, itcertainly overshadows that.

Youve got to make some adjustments on your power play, butI dont think its one of those situations where youve got to panic, addedJulien. Youve got to stay positive, and youve got to find solutions, andthats what were doing.

The need to get more shots on net during power play is evenmore important when Zdeno Chara is providing a screen out front, which is thestrategy the Bruins have been using as of late.

Its only an advantage if we get pucks to the net, saidJulien. "I think thats the bottom line here. If youre going to put Chara infront, you might as well get some pucks to the net, and find ways to do that.So thats part of our process here, to move the puck around and get someshots.

Julien said hed also like to see more shots from defensemanTomas Kaberle, on the power play.

The only thing youve always heard about Tomas is, youdlike to see him shoot the puck more, said Julien. Theres times on the powerplay where, if he has that shooting lane, like we said with Zdeno in front,youve got to shoot.

It doesnt have to be a big shot. It can be a wrist shot.It can be anything.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team


Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while saying RIP Vine but not really feeling it since it’s a rabbit hole I never really delved down into. 

*Down Goes Brown celebrates the “NHL’s old guys”, and yes, that means a gratuitous shout out to Zdeno Chara as the top defenseman on the All-Graybeard squad. 

*Hampus Lindholm has signed a long term deal with the Anaheim Ducks, so now that deal leaves everybody to wonder who is leaving the Anaheim roster in the eventual salary cap crunch. It will be interesting to see if this hastens any Cam Fowler trade talk as far as the Bruins are concerned because it looks like they need the help.  

*Pro Hockey Talk has the Oilers off to their best start since the Wayne Gretzky Era and people in Edmonton finally getting to see the hockey they’ve been waiting for over the past few years. 

*In honor of the Halloween season that we’re in, here are a few cool and scary goalie masks with a bit of spooky flair. 

*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is confident that his young team is going to rebound after a rough start to the season. 

*Speaking of creative uniforms, it’s a most wonderful time of the year for hockey when they bust out their Oktoberfest sweaters. 

*For something completely different: this matchup of Peanuts and Stranger Things hits all the right notes for fans of both. 


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?


Goalie update: Tuukka Rask dealing with hamstring AND groin injury?

While the good news is that it doesn’t appear that Tuukka Rask is dealing with a knee injury, there are still some significant muscular issues to work with concerning his left leg. 

According to former Bruins defenseman and NHL analyst Aaron Ward on CSN’s Great American Hockey Show podcast, the Bruins franchise goaltender has been dealing with a hamstring issue that’s also become a hamstring and groin issue as he tried to play through in the first week of the season. Rask clearly tweaked something in his left leg opening night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, missed the Saturday night loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and then appeared to aggravate the injury in last week’s win over the New Jersey Devils. 

According to Ward, it’s hamstring and groin issues for Rask as the Bruins attempt to survive without him while potentially working toward a possible return for the Finnish netminder this weekend vs. the Red Wings. Rask hasn’t skated with the Bruins since finishing out the 2-1 win over the Devils last Thursday night, and tweaking the problematic left leg in the process. 

“What I was told is that it was left leg, and that at first it was hamstring and now it’s possibly hamstring and groin,” said Ward to CSN Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty on the Great American Hockey Show podcast. “You’re always concerned when you’re a goalie and it’s your legs, right? It’s the push-off. The crazy part was watching it on video where the shoot came from the left side and went wide, and the next time he injures it shot comes from the same spot, misses it wide and [Rask] is in the exact same position wincing.

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“I think [the Bruins] are smart rather than trying to play a guy that’s 90, 80 or 70 percent, whatever it is, to just get it over with. Endure the short term pain to get the greater gain, and that’s having Rask in there. There’s no greater endorsement to keep him out than seeing the [bad losses without him] because you need a healthy Tuukka to let the rest of the team settle.”

It’s been disastrous without Rask, of course, as the Bruins have allowed 11 goals in back-to-back losses to the Wild and Rangers with rookies Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre between the pipes, and Anton Khudobin out for three weeks while sporting a cast on his right hand in the last B’s game at TD Garden. 

Meanwhile, Rask (3-0-0, 1.67 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage) is trying to heal and time it perfectly so he returns once he’s past the danger of potentially blowing out the muscles in his left leg and making the situation even worse than it already might be. 

Ward also discusses his relationship with "Toucher & Rich" and the "Cuts for a Cause" charitable event that he helped start.