Morning Skate 31: Operation 'rest Thomas' underway

Morning Skate 31: Operation 'rest Thomas' underway

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comOTTAWA The road trip has nearly come to an end for the Boston Bruins as they sit 5-0-0 and inch toward a perfect six-game swing through Canada and Long Island a pair of places that wont be confused for one another.Tuukka Rask started the first two games of the two-part trip, and won both games against the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators. Now it appears that the 23-year-old will start the last two games of the road trip after capturing a narrow victory in Edmonton and being the first goaltender off the ice during morning skate at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.Rask sits at 8-11-1 after a modest three-game winning streak, and will be getting consecutive starts for only the third time this season when he takes the ice against the Senators.Operation Tim Thomas gets a breather is in full deployment for the Black and Gold, and it looks like the perfect time to get Rask back to work. The Ottawa Senators are a team filled with hungry AHL players from the Binghamton Senators after a flurry of trade deadline moves by Ottawa GM Bryan Murray.So they may just be ripe for the picking, and ready to give Boston that perfect road trip theyve been yearning.On to the links:The Blackhawks are finally starting to resemble last years Stanley Cup squad after going through a long hangover period in the early months of the season.Rolling Stones web site has the exclusive new Dropkick Murphys video Going Out in Style that features Bobby Orr, Milan Lucic, Shawn Thornton and Kevin Youkilis among others. Cool stuff, and Thornton swears those were shots of diet coke he was throwing back.David Steckel really didnt expect to be traded to the New Jersey Devils, and Im not quite sure that deal makes Washington a better team.Sergei Samsonovs reaction to the Observer while suiting up at the RBC Center with the Florida Panthers to play the Hurricanes team that just dealt him? Weird, was the only way to describe it.Texas oil mogul Douglas Miller makes a bid to purchase the Dallas Stars, according to a report in The Hockey News. Somebody needs to take the team of Tom Hicks hands.Newsday writer Katie Strang gives everyone a peekbehind the scenes on NHL trade deadline day while keeping in contact with Zenon Konopka.Good look by Sporting News writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance at the way Sidney Crosbys concussion might force the NHLs hand in creating more stringent rules about head shots.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game: