|09.29.15 at 5:21 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Tuesday that they have assigned Linus Arnesson, Chris Casto, Austin Czarnik and Frank Vatrano to Providence. The four players were absent from Tuesday’s practice, with Claude Julien declining comment on their status earlier in the day.
In addition to making cuts, the Bruins brought Chris Breen, Ben Sexton and Brandon DeFazio back up from Providence. The three were previously cut from camp, but recalling them means the Bruins will have the trio available for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers.
Recalling players after cutting them in camp isn’t too uncommon, as the Bruins cut Ryan Spooner last fall, brought him up before the end of the preseason and had him on their roster when the season began. It’s unlikely that Breen, Sexton or DeFazio are viable options to make the B’s out of camp, however.
|09.29.15 at 11:51 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Zdeno Chara skated by himself prior to Tuesday’s practice, marking the second straight day the B’s captain has taken the ice since suffering an upper-body injury last week.
Chara did not stay out for Boston’s practice. Claude Julien said following the practice that Chara will not play Wednesday night against the Rangers, though the 38-year-old defenseman could soon start practicing. The B’s are not ruling out the possibility of Chara potentially playing in Friday’s preseason finale against the Capitals.
Julien also revealed Jonas Gustavsson will play the entire game Wednesday as the team continues to figure out its potential backup goalie situation. The only goaltenders left on Boston’s roster are Gustavsson (still on a professional tryout), Tuukka Rask and Jeremy Smith.
Also absent from Tuesday’s practice were defenseman Linus Arnesson and forwards Frank Vatrano and Austin Czarnik. It’s possible that the Bruins may have made cuts Tuesday morning.
David Krejci was back with the bulk of his teammates after skating in Monday’s smaller session. He skated with Matt Beleskey and David Pastrnak, while Brett Connolly was back on his line with Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes after sitting for Monday’s preseason game.
The following players took the ice for Tuesday’s practice:
Forwards: Connolly, Ferlin, Randell, Kemppainen, Blidh, Talbot, Hayes, Marchand, Spooner, Beleskey, Rinaldo, Bergeron, Khokhlachev, Eriksson, Kelly, Pastrnak, Krejci, Kelly
Defense: Kevan Miller, Irwin, Trotman, Krug, Colin Miller, Morrow, McQuaid, Cross
Goalies: Rask, Gustavsson, Smith
|09.29.15 at 12:12 am ET|
The long wait finally came to an end for Tuukka Rask Monday night.
The 28-year-old goalie made his 2015 preseason debut after watching the likes of Jonas Gustavsson, Jeremy Smith, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre fill the void over the first four games, all wins.
Monday night wasn’t about the final result, a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. It was about getting Rask’s feet wet for the first time in game action since the regular season finale last April 11 at Tampa Bay. That night, the Bruins were eliminated in the middle of the game. Monday night, in a game with far less significance, Rask stopped 21 of 24 shots in getting his first taste of action.
“Good to get it out of the way,” Rask said. “You kind of forget how tough it is out there. It doesn’t matter how much you workout or skate, it’s always different when it’s a real game and I definitely felt it. It’s good to get that first one out of the belt and to keep moving on that.”
Rask posted a 2.30 goals against last season with a 34-21-13 mark in 70 games. He will, of course, be the starting goalie for the Bruins when they open the season on Oct. 8 against Winnipeg at TD Garden.
“I think at this point I focus on myself and getting my game where I feel like it needs to be – it’s just with the feel and everything,” Rask said. “I felt that timing was sometimes a little off, angles were a little off at times — not natural all the time. Those are the things I need to work on, but I think in the bigger picture too, looking at the breakouts we did a pretty good job today and communication was pretty good too. The first period I had to handle it a couple times, the first one of the game I just made a bad pass, but after that I made a couple good passes. A couple guys talked to me where they wanted the puck to be and I think they did a good job in front of the net, clearing some sticks and some players. I think it was good.”
Rask realizes that improving Boston’s breakout this season begins with him.
|09.29.15 at 12:07 am ET|
Rather, it was the group of six defensemen who saw action in front of Rask that Julien was watching most intently.
“We’re evaluating more the back end than we were Tuukka,” Julien said. “We’ve got some young D’s here and some spots to fill. Spots to win and spots to lose. So we’re looking closely at those guys on the back end. Some of those goals tonight [Rask] didn’t get much help.”
Boston dropped the final decision to Detroit 3-1, allowing at least two markers that didn’t thrill Julien in regards to his team’s play on that back end.
“That first goal a guy walks right into the slot,” said Julien of the game’s first goal scored by Detroit’s Drew Miller, with Boston’s defensemen Linus Arnesson and Kevan Miller near the crease some distance away.
And the second Detroit goal, with Tomas Jurko getting behind Arnesson and Colin Miller to make it 2-0?
“It was a mix-up there between our two D’s,” said Julien. “We laid it in [on the dump-in] and our right D changed hoping that our left D would go to right to be closer to the bench. Somehow they stayed in the same half of the ice and allowed them that breakaway.”
Without the blue-line services of Dennis Seidenberg for several more weeks and Zdeno Chara for an unknown length of time, some of Julien’s young defensemen will need to raise their game when the season begins a week from this Thursday.
“I think guys are getting used to having more pressure on them on the forecheck,” said Zach Trotman, who logged 18:39 of ice time Monday playing primarily alongside Torey Krug. “Getting used to reads. Getting some chemistry with other players and partners. We’ve gotten to play with each other for a couple games now. You’re going to notice that breakouts are a little cleaner, neutral zone is going to be a little cleaner. And then jumping up in the play and stuff and adjusting to the tweaks we’ve made to our system.”
Those tweaks to the Bruins system are designed to help spark an offense that ranked 22nd in the NHL in goals-per-game (2.55) last season. However, timing is everything in making sure the defense doesn’t suffer.
|09.28.15 at 9:28 pm ET|
Jimmy Howard lost his shutout bid in the final minute of Monday night’s preseason contest as the Red Wings earned a 3-1 win over the Bruins at TD Garden. Here are some quick observations from the preseason contest:
— Tuukka Rask made his first start of the preseason. After coming up with an impressive kick save on Drew Miller and stopping him again point blank in the second period, Miller finally cashed in on one of his chances when he fired a shot from the right circle past Rask at 7:11 of the second.
Rask didn’t get much help from the guys in front of him on Detroit’s second goal. After getting burned by Tomas Jurco, Linus Arnesson took a hack at Jurco but did not deter the Red Wings forward from scoring on the delayed penalty call. The Wings went up 3-0 in the third on a Andreas Athanosiou wrist shot from the point.
Rask finished the game with 21 saves on 23 shots.
— Loui Eriksson scored Boston’s only goal, with Loui Eriksson picking up a rebound in front off a Torey Krug point shot during 6-on-5 play and jamming it past Howard. It was a good finish to the game for his line with Patrice Bergeron and Marchand after the trio struggled to stay onside early in the contest.
— The B’s survived an injury scare late in the second period. After leaving the ice slowly and in pain, Brad Marchand could be seen grabbing his right thigh area as he remained on the bench for the final 5:38 of the period. Fortunately for the Bruins, Marchand was back on the ice to start the third period.
— David Pastrnak may have taken an uncalled stick to the face late in the third period. Pastrnak dropped his stick and left the ice holding his mouth after Brian Lashoff’s stick apparently got him with a little more than four minutes remaining.
– David Krejci was not in Monday’s lineup, Matt Beleskey and Pastrnak were centered by Austin Czarnik. The line wasn’t anything special, though it did draw a pair of penalties.
Pastrnak sprung Beleskey for a breakaway, but the puck was just out of his reach and Jimmy came out of his net to minimize the threat.
|09.28.15 at 1:01 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask will see his first preseason action Monday night, as he is expected to play the entire time as the Bruins host the Red Wings.
Speaking after Monday’s practice, Rask said he doesn’t mind having sat out the Bruins’ first four games of the preseason, as he’s as invested in seeing who wins the backup job as anyone.
“I’ve been fine. I’m sure I could have had a game or half a game if I really wanted to,” Rask said. “We figured that I’ll play my games this week and carry it over to next week.”
Jonas Gustavsson will back up Rask on Monday. Still on a professional tryout, he is back with the team after leaving to attend the birth of his first child. Gustavsson, Rask and Jeremy Smith are the only goalies left in camp after the B’s sent Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre to Providence Sunday.
The projected lineup for Monday’s game is as follows:
David Krejci, who was given Sunday off, practiced with the second group Monday. Among the others to skate with the second group were Adam McQuaid, Zac Rinaldo and Brett Connolly. Word is that practice was particularly taxing, as one player was overheard saying it with the toughest of camp so far.
|09.28.15 at 11:56 am ET|
Coming off last week’s surgery to repair a herniated disc, Dennis Seidenberg is walking around just fine. He is far from playing hockey, however.
Speaking to the media for the first time since having a 45-minute procedure Thursday, Seidenberg said on Monday that he has to wait two weeks for his incision to heal before meeting with a doctor. In the meantime, he won’t do anything but go for walks.
The Bruins said upon announcing Seidenberg’s surgery and eight-week absence that the player suffered a back injury while working out. Seidenberg’s version of the story disagrees with the Bruins’ message, as he stressed Monday that he does not know what caused it.
“I wish [I knew],” he said. “Usually when something like this happens, you’re like, ‘Oh my god,’ doing a movement or exercising somehow, but I woke up that morning — that was, I think, Monday [Sept. 14] — just feeling that nerve pain.
“I had a feeling in the back of my leg, and then eventually shooting down my calf. I notified the staff. I went to see a doctor and got an MRI first that showed nerves being pinched – L5-S1.
“From then on, the doctor said, ‘OK. We’re going to wait a week and see if it goes away by itself.’ Sometimes that happens with an extruded disc. It didn’t, so we went on to do the surgery.”
Seidenberg added that he felt more discomfort than pain.
“I didn’t have any pain,” he said. “I just had — not a numbness, but my calf wasn’t firing. I couldn’t push off. After surgery, I was walking the same day.”
The 34-year-old’s injury (and subsequent procedure) is similar to what Chris Kelly had at the end of the 2013-14 regular season. Seidenberg noted that his recovery is expected to be cleaner than Kelly’s was because he had his surgery earlier, thus avoiding atrophy. Kelly didn’t have surgery until six weeks after his injury, while Seidenberg got his done after two and a half weeks.
“We kind of nipped it in the bud pretty quickly,” Seidenberg said. “Hopefully that helps in the recovery.”
Seidenberg lamented the timing of his injury, as he was hoping to solidify a defense that needs steady top-four defensemen badly. He hopes he can still do that when he eventually returns.
“Eight weeks is still pretty long,” he said. “Missing any time is not good, but it’s the start of the season. Hopefully I’ll get to play a good amount of games and be good.”