Julien tweaks Bruins' lines again at Tuesday's practice


Julien tweaks Bruins' lines again at Tuesday's practice

By Danny Picard

WILMINGTON -- Claude Julien mixed up the Bruins' lines in the third period of Monday night's 3-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, and he changed them up again at Tuesday's practice at Ristuccia Arena.

Marc Savard was reunited with Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton was added to the duo's right wing. Julien also reunited the line of David Krejci, Michael Ryder, and Blake Wheeler. The trio was the team's most productive offensive line two years ago, when the Bruins were the top team in the Eastern Conference.

"You've got to try and find some solutions here, so we moved some people around and let's see if that can happen," said Julien, when asked if he hopes Krejci's line can continue what it started two seasons ago. "If it happens, great, because they were pretty successful then. And maybe we see that again."

Wheeler seemed pretty excited, after Tuesday's practice, about getting the opportunity to get the old line back together.

"I think when you struggle to score goals, it's easy to go back to the well, and say, 'You know what, we've had some success,' " said Wheeler. "So it's kind of natural to put us back together.

"We've played together so much these last few years, that we know where we're going to be when we're on the ice. We know what to expect."

All three had their highest totals, as members of the Bruins, two seasons ago, while playing together. Ryder had 27 goals and 26 assists. Wheeler had 21 goals and 24 assists. And Krejci had 22 goals and 51 assists.

"Krejci's a really fun guy to play with, because you know if you're in space, and there's an opportunity to get the puck, then you're going to get it," said Wheeler. "So more than anything, you just want to be ready to shoot, and have your stick on the ice at all times, because sometimes he sees you when you're not even expecting it."

Tyler Seguin was back skating with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi on Tuesday. Julien had moved Seguin to the line in the third period of Monday night's loss. It was the first line that Seguin played with, in the preseason, as a member of the Bruins, and by all accounts, it was a success at that point.

Seguin was removed from Bergeron's wing, in order to play center while Savard missed the first two months dealing with post-concussion syndrome.

Grinder Brad Marchand (stiffness) was missing once again from Bruins practice on Tuesday, while defenseman Steven Kampfer was present, after taking getting hit awkwardly into the boards on Monday night.

"Kampfer's not 100 percent, but he's OK," said Julien after the skate. "He's good enough to come out and practice today."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

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.