Marchand, Bruins not surprised by suspension


Marchand, Bruins not surprised by suspension

By Joe Haggerty

NASHVILLE Brad Marchand didnt think much of the hit on Columbus forward R.J. Umberger right after it happened, or in the moments after the game was over.But the pesky Bs agitator couldnt really dispute the video or the NHLs decision on Thursday morning to suspend hom for two games after clocking Umberger in the back of the head with a raised elbow.When I saw the DanyHeatley decision yesterday, I kind of expected the Marchand decision to be in the same vicinity, said Claude Julien of the NHL's decision to suspend the San Jose Sharks sniper after he delivered a blow to the head. You cant be hypocritical. If the whole league is saying they want to clean it up, then you cant whine and complain every time they make a decision thatcomes in against you.We have to live with it and Marchand has to learn from it. If he learns from it, then hopefully it wont happen again.Marchand continued to maintain he was attempting to play the puck and make contact withUmberger in the shoulder, but he knew there wasnt much recourse given thatthe contact arrived at Umberger from the blind side. That Marchand's hit came duringthe very week the NHL general managers are meeting to discuss concussion reduction within the league made it a fait accompli that the league would make an example out of him.I understand where the league is coming from, said Marchand. Theyre obviously cracking down on head hits right now. Im disappointed to miss a couple of games and its always frustrating to have to watch your team play.But I understand why it happened. The biggest thing is to regroup now and get ready to play when Im called back to action.Marchand will miss tonights game against the Nashville Predators and Saturday nights game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre, and then should be cleared for a return to the lineup. Hell be more than 6,000 lighter in the wallet after missing out on the two game checks, but dont expect Marchand to turn into a hockey choir boy when he returns.Marchand knows theres no place in the game for vicious, dirty head shots, but he left no doubt hell continue to play on the edge when asked if a two-game slap from the NHL would steal any bite out of his gritty, grating style of play. No. Not at all. You go out there and you cant really change your game, said Marchand. Thats how I had to play to get here, and thats how Ill have to play to stay here. If I start to change my game then maybe I wont be as effective.It happens. Its hockey. Its part of the sports. There will always be hits to the head because of how fast guys are and how big, strong and physical guys are. The biggest thing is that you cant be taking cheap shots. Thats where you have to draw the line.With Marchand out of the lineup that obviously means that both Daniel Paille and Tyler Seguin will play against the Predators Thursday night at the Bridgestone Arena smack in the middle of Music City.Umberger went down in the second period when he caught an elbow from Marchand at center ice. No penalty was called, but supplemental discipline may be come down under Rule 48.1, which outlines an illegal check to the head as "A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted andor the principal point of contact."Claude Julien said it would be a game-time decision with their defensemen given Andrew Ferences improving health, but Ference was on the ice much longer than the rest of his fellow blueliners. It might behoove Julien and the Bs coaching staff to go with a 100 percent healthy Steve Kampfer as Ference continues to heal his lower body. Adam McQuaid said that his left foot was okay and that hed be ready to go against the Predators.Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice, but it was an optional skate for the Bruins Thursday morning at Bridgestone Arena. Rask is coming off a solid win against the Columbus Blue Jackets that should be considered a stolen win, and Thomas now hasnt played since dropping a game to the New York Islanders six days ago on Long Island.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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.