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.

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.