Notes: Boychuk's mistake costs Bruins


Notes: Boychuk's mistake costs Bruins

By JoeHaggerty

VANCOUVER Johnny Boychuk probably doesnt need to be reminded that hes been on the ice for each of the last seven goals scored against the Bruins during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The minus-1 on Boychuks ledger from Game 1 of the Cup finals might have been the toughest one for No. 55 to stomach. It was his error in both judgment and execution that led to the winning goal by Raffi Torres with only 18.5 seconds remaining on Wednesday night.

Boychuk attempted to step up and play the body on Vancouver center Ryan Kesler as things moved quickly to the Boston defensive blue line, and the Bs defenseman lost the one-on-one battle with the Canucks do-it-all center.

Kesler worked the puck along the side boards in a play very reminiscent of one that Patrice Bergeron has often pulled during his career with the Bruins. He slipped around Boychuk and fed a nice pass to Jannik Hansen, who set up Torres for the game-winning goal.

I was trying to push it back toward the neutral zone, but it didnt happen, said Boychuk. I dont know if it hit or it went back in, or what happened. All I know is he got the puck, hesitated to see if was offside and made the pass to score in the last minute.

The goal begs the question why Boychuk was on the ice with Zdeno Chara in the closing minutes of a Stanley Cup Final playoff game when the CharaDennis Seidenberg combo has been a key shutdown pairing during the playoffs. The final seconds of a game is exactly when Chara and Seidenberg should be suffocating Kesler and Co. and pushing for a decision in overtime.

Boychuk was aware he made a mistake in that situation, but he didnt feel like it had much to do with a slight tweak in defense pairings headed into the game.

I played with Chara for most of the year, so its not out of the norm, said Boychuk. Theyve played well together in the playoffs, but this was just to switch it up. I just go out there when Im told.

Milan Lucic on the hip check by Dan Hamhuis near the benches: "I went over. He got hurt on it. That's it."

Interesting that Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki popped up on the jumbotron to wish my man Hoff luck in the Stanley Cup Finals as the German superstar wished fellow countrymen, Christian Erhoff, well in the final series.

Got to wonder: Where the love is for fellow German Dennis Seidenberg, who is tearing it up in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Bruins coach Claude Julien made some slight changes to the Bs power play with Chara camped down low and Tyler Seguin inserted into the man advantage for a bit of a different look. But neither of those things worked out as the Bs power play went 0-for-6 while also holding the high-powered Canucks to an 0-for-6.

The Bruins did manage to get 12 shots on net and had a very good possession during a four-minute power play after a high-sticking call against Daniel Sedin in the first period. But still, no actual production for a special-teams unit that needs some serious overhauling if its ever going to fully function.

I think our power play was better tonight than its been in a while," said Julien. "We had some shots. We had some opportunities. We had chances. We didnt score and obviously when your power play isnt doing well then its going to be criticized for not scoring.

But the same thing happened on the other side. As long as were able to stay on even terms with them on special teams, then Im okay with that.

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

Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment


Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while anxiously awaiting a Cleveland/Chicago Cubs World Series showdown with all of the Red Sox subplots that could be involved.

*A peewee hockey coach in Quebec has been given a season-long suspension for punishing his players with hundreds of push-ups.

*The NHL game has changed radically over the last 11 years as Henrik Lundqvist has been a fixture for the New York Rangers.

*A lot has changed since Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal in 1990 and this article is worth it for the Jagr mullet picture alone.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough says that a healthy Brandon Sutter has been a difference-maker for the Canucks.

*Carey Price is back in net for the Montreal Canadiens, and that makes the Habs a new team as they prepare for the Bruins on Saturday.

*This is what it looks like when you’ve completely given up on just about everything else except for being a hockey fan. So very gross.

*For something completely different: The Doctor Strange cast is being forced into answering some tough questions at the premiere of what is essentially a comic book movie.



Rask status in question vs. Canadiens with ‘general soreness’


Rask status in question vs. Canadiens with ‘general soreness’

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Tuukka Rask has been outstanding through his first three games this season after stumbling out of the gate last year. The .947 save percentage and sub 2.00 GAA are all the more impressive for Rask when also accounting for a lower body issue that’s been nagging at him since the opening night win a little more than a week ago.

Rask stopped 28 of 29 shots against the New Jersey Devils Thursday night in a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden, but it was also clear on a couple of stops that he was feeling discomfort in his lower half as he extended into the full butterfly. 

That was confirmed by Rask following the win when he admitted he was dealing with “something” after the game, and by his absence from the practice ice at Warrior Ice Arena on Friday morning.

“Uh-huh. There’s always a little something-something,” said a smirking Rask, when asked if he’s playing through something physically.

Instead, Babson College goalie coach Mike Ronan was called into emergency duty, and took the practice ice along with Bruins backup netminder Anton Khudobin.

Claude Julien said following practice that Rask was dealing with the same “general soreness” that last week pushed him out of a scheduled start against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s uncertain whether he will make the start against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

“The general soreness he had last week is still there,” said Julien. “[The medical staff] will see tomorrow how he's doing.”

Rask also missed a Bruins practice with soreness last Friday in Toronto, and wasn’t able to play the next night in the loss to the Maple Leafs. Injuries aside, Rask has been brilliant against both New Jersey and Winnipeg and was solid over the final 40 minutes against the Blue Jackets in an opening night win to start the season.

“Tuukka was outstanding in Winnipeg and he was good again [vs. New Jersey],” said Julien. “So, there are no issues with Tuukka. I think he’s giving us the hockey and the goaltending that we are looking for.”

Well, maybe there is one slight “issue with Tuukka” if a nagging lower body issue starts keeping him out of Bruins games and practices on the regular.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings at Friday practice:









Liles-C. Miller