Bruins ready for 'measuring stick' vs. Canucks

Bruins ready for 'measuring stick' vs. Canucks

By JoeHaggerty
VANCOUVER The Bruins are finally at Rogers Arena to take on the Vancouver Canucks for their measuring stick game with all of their newly comprised pieces, and see how they stack up against the class of the Western Conference.The Canucks lead the entire NHL with 87 points through 62 games, and have risen to the top out West.The Bruins are 4-7-2 this season against the Western Conference teams and have struggled through the first few months, but it was a different more determined Bs bunch that took the ice earlier this week against the Calgary Flames. Conversely, the Canucks are 10-4-2 against the Eastern Conference this year, so clearly something has to give.The Bruins are hoping that same Black and Gold squad comes out to play against the Canucks on Saturday night.I thought we played a solid game against Calgary. Thats important on the road: a solid game, said Claude Julien. Defensively we were very good and offensively we capitalized on some plays when we had opportunities, and we made some good plays that way.You watch the Canucks play on TV and see how well theyre doing. The fact that you get a chance to measure yourself up against a team right now thats first is a good opportunity to seize. Its going to be a good game, a good challenge and after the game you have a pretty good idea of where you stand.Brad Marchand went through morning skate without a problem at Rogers Arena, and looked 100 percent fine for tonights game against Vancouver after taking a shot off the leg.
His leg seemed okay. I wasnt sure about his hands this morning, said Julien. I asked him that this morning: did you hurt your leg, or your hands? Hes totally fine and ready to go.Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice and looks like hell be getting the start against the Canucks. Thomas is 12-4-3 in his last 19 starts and was one third period goal away from notching a career-best eighth shutout of the season against the Flames. Roberto Luongo was the first goalie off the ice for the Canucks and is having a solid season in Vancouver, though his last win came all the way back on Feb. 19 against the Dallas Stars.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at 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.