Notes: Julien excited about Pouliot, Corvo acquisitions


Notes: Julien excited about Pouliot, Corvo acquisitions

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON The connection between Claude Julien and Michael Ryder is well established.

Ryder played for the Bruins coach during his final season with the Hull Olympiques in the Quebec Major Junior League and for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL, and then during both stints with the Montreal Canadiens and the Bruins. The enigmatic Ryder has enjoyed some excellent seasons under Julien, but hes also been head-scratching in his inconsistency under the familiar coach.

But they had always been together and they eventually won the Stanley Cup last season as coach and player, with Ryder summoning some clutch performances during the postseason after an underwhelming regular season campaign. So it was natural to ask the coach if there was any adjustment without one of his normal hockey pupils ready to take orders after Ryder agreed to a two-year deal with the Dallas Stars.

Ive done it before and for Michael he went out and got himself a contract that gave him some security, said Julien. You have to respect that for him and from players at this stage of their careers. I guess they get into their thirties and Tomas Kaberle is the same thing. He got himself a nice three year deal.

You have to respect that sometimes. You try and keep those guys but at the same time new blood is never a bad thing into your lineup. Michael has been extremely good for us, especially in the playoffs. I dont think hes ever disappointed in the playoffs. His seasons hes had some ups and downs, but his playoffs were good enough that someones giving him another opportunity. So he moves on and so do we. We bring in another player that we think can certainly help our hockey club.

The other player that Julien is referring to, of course, is former Habs winger Benoit Pouliot, but Jordan Caron is expected to compete for the open winger spot as well along with a youngster like Jared Knight. Caron became a Julien favorite in no time at all last fall after the Bs coach watched him perform in development camp and he made the team out of regular training camp in September.

So it could be one Julien favorite replacing another if Caron gets the bulk of the playing time headed into next season, but Pouliot is certainly going to get a long look after signing a 1.1 million deal with the Bs. Julien went so far as to draw a Pouliot parallel with Nathan Horton as an underachieving player that might find a little more success with Bostons structure, coaching staff and talented roster.

Hes actually a kid that grew up maybe fifteen, twenty minutes away from where I grew up. So Ive seen him enough and know enough about him. I think hes going to be a really good acquisition, Julien said. I think his skill level is extremely high. I know that a lot of people seem to think that he underachieved. We feel that we probably will be able to give him a better opportunity here with the space thats open for him.

From what I saw when he played for Montreal, there were times where he was really physical. We saw him get in a fight with David Krejci but also involved in the corners and then being physically engaged I guess. I think in this surrounding here in Boston knowing hes got good support and our team has everybodys back, I think that its even going to be even a better situation for him. But at the same time we expect him to come in and demonstrate his skills and use his skills that everybody seems to think he has. Im really optimistic about him.

The Bs coach was also excited about the potential switch of Kaberle for Joe Corvo, and the skills that the well-traveled veteran defenseman could bring to the table in Boston.

I think you know you look at Corvo whos got a really good shot," Julien said. "Hes a player that may be a little bit more physical and more engaged. Were going to have to work with him as far as making him understand the way we play here. I think the way we play will certainly help him a little bit. Because we dont want him running around . . . we want him playing well positionally. He skates well and hell move the puck well.

Claude Julien said that hes only managed about a week away from the hustle and bustle at his summer home in Ontario, but hes already feeling refreshed and ready to jump right back into things next season with his hockey team.

Its been great," he said. "We went from winning the Stanley Cup to the draft and then back here to development camp. I spent about a week now at my summer home which is nice to kind of get away from things a little bit . . . but its been great. Its going to be short but at the same time, I didnt think Id feel this way at this time this soon but Im looking forward to getting going again. Thats just the way we are.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli indicated that new team power skating instructor Besa Tsintsadze will work with the big club as well as the younger players throughout the season.

Hell spend some time with our club and throughout the year, yeah," Chiarelli said. "Hes going to focus primarily on our Providence team, but hes going to spend time with the Bruins whether its one-on-one or one with a small group. Hell spend some time with our big club. Hes good, very good, you saw, hes dynamic. Its all about edges with him and thats important. I talked to a few of the guys after the first session and their groins and their rears and their lower back were all really, really sore. To me thats good when those things are pushed.

The height and weight of Dougie Hamilton was a hot topic for Chiarelli, who has been pretty consistent in his stance that the 18-year-old defenseman needs at least another year of junior hockey before hes ready for prime time. There needs to be some serious muscle and strength added to the still-growing 6-foot-5 frame, and the Bs GM would like to see at least another 20 pounds added over the next couple of years.

If he can get to 220 pounds thatd be great . . . and he could. With his frame and hes still growing. I think hes still growing . . . we had one posting measurement at some point toward the end of his season, and hes grown a quarter of an inch or a half an inch since then.

The weight gain has got to be done properly and Im sure hell do it. I know hes conscientious about that. His parents are two former Olympic athletes. Hes got core strength too so 210 pounds would be great.

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.