Seguin a healthy scratch against Canadiens

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Seguin a healthy scratch against Canadiens

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON In a move expected since the lines were formed at practice on Tuesday, Boston's 19-year-old rookie center, Tyler Seguin, will be a healthy scratch tonight vs. the Montreal Canadiens in a pivotal Northeast Division battle at TD Garden.The Habs have had the Bs number all year and left an indelible mark on the Bruins when they snatched an overtime victory away from Boston at the Bell Centre during a frenzied third-period comeback last month.With the gravity of the game in mind and an admission from coach Claude Julien that Seguin has lost a little bit of his edge, the Bs have decided to roll out a line of Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder centered by Zach Hamill, with the No. 2 overall pick in last summer's draftwatching from the ninth floor of TD Garden.Julien confirmed it after Wednesday's morning skate.Were giving Hamill a shot, but the competition is going to be on him when we have everybody back, said Julien, who didnt wait until tonight'swarmup to name his healthy scratch. We have to sit somebody out. I know who he is and I know where he was drafted and all that stuff. I think right now weve brought Jordan Caron up because hes a good fit on that fourth line and weve brought Hamill up to get a good look at himas a third year pro. Theres a lot on Seguins plate right now. I know hes lost a bit of his edge and there are times when hes lost the puck when he should be able to hold onto it. There are parts of his game that have slipped a little bit, but that doesnt change the outlook of what we think of him. I think its a phase that hes going through this year. It's never a bad thing to watch and never a bad thing to rest this time of the year.Peter Chiarelli told 98.5 The Sports Hubs Toucher and Rich on Wednesday morning that he would like to send Seguin to the Providence Bruins for a two-week conditioning stint at this point in the season but the Bs GM also admitted he didnt thinkthat was going to happen, given that the player andhis agentneed to sign off on such a move.What does Seguin think?Hes clearly aggravated that he wont be playing asanyhockey player worth their saltshould be but said he would use all of the conditioning stint talk and healthy scratches as motivation to play harder, regain that edge and continue fighting through a little bit of a rookie wall that's risen in the last 3-4 weeks.Seguins ice time has dropped under 10 minutes for each ofhis last four games, and its clear the Bruins are trying to create a competitive situation between Seguin and Hamill while stirring a little spark into Seguins game. The pressure levels and importance of games has elevated tremendouslysince the All-Star break, and it appears Seguin has hit a little bit ofarutwhile attempting to match the intensity.The conditioning part to the AHLisnt going to work out because of my age. Im just trying to focus on improving my game right now, said Seguin. Whether its sitting in the stands or whatever I have to do, Im going to do it.I had four shots and a goal against Dallas, but I definitely want to elevate my game. I think that I need to. Its all about consistency now heading toward the playoffs. I think I still have it in me and thats still the plan for me. Whether its five minutes or ten minutes a night I need to take advantage of it all. Even if Im sitting on the bench for a while I need to find a way to get my legs going, and thats just something Im not used to . . . but something Ive got to change. Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice for the Bruins and looks like hell be getting the start. Carey Price will be the starting goaltender for the Habs. Thomas leads the league in nearly every statistical goalie category while Price was also an All-Star while putting up a .922 save percentage and 2.32 goals against average this season. Thomas is 10-2-3 in his last 15 games while Price is coming off a 4-1 loss to the suddenly hot New Jersey Devils. Julien appeared to have his game face on Wednesday morning when he was asked about David Krejci and why the playmaking center has the ability to rise to the occasion in big moments."You should ask him that question," snapped Julien at CSN's Mike Giardi, who posed the question. "I wish he'd elevate his game like that all the time."

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious. 

Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

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Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s a bit of a helpless feeling for an NHL general manager watching their star players participate in an intense hockey tournament like the World Cup of Hockey that doesn’t directly benefit their respective teams.

Not helpless because of the tournament’s outcome, obviously, but helpless because players could return from Toronto dinged up, or even worse significantly injured.

Aaron Ekblad had to shut it down for Team North American with what many speculated was a concussion, and Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is out a month, or more, with a broken hand sustained playing for the same young guns team.

So, it certainly must have been an uneasy few moments for Don Sweeney when Brad Marchand was pulled from Team Canada’s last game for the concussion protocol after a nasty-looking collision with Team Europe forward Marian Hossa.

Marchand went through the testing, and ended up returning to the game no worse for the wear. But it could have been a lot worse for a Bruins team that can’t afford to be missing Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara, who are still playing for teams alive in the semifinal round of the tourney.

“I would expect all of us to have been in a similar situation. For everybody - any general manager, coaches, staff, you're concerned about [injuries],” said Sweeney, talking about the World Cup and Marchand’s close call. “I mean, especially when you realize the stakes are going to go up as the tournament goes along. The pride involved - it's a risk. There's no question, it's a risk.

“But you also want to see them play their best hockey and they're not going to hold back. Yeah, it's a definite concern. You've got your fingers and toes crossed.”

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask have already returned to Boston fully healthy. David Backes should be joining the team anytime now after Team USA’s rude dismissal from the tournament. But Sweeney and the Bruins still have their sensors out for the three B’s players taking part that aren’t quite out of the woods yet before returning to B’s camp in one piece.