|After facing shots, Tuukka Rask one step closer to being ready for Bruins||04.09.12 at 1:19 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins saw a familiar face on the ice Monday, as Tuukka Rask joined his teammates in their first practice in anticipation of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Rask has been out since suffering an abdomen strain/groin strain on March 3, and after being expected to miss 4-6 weeks, he seems to be on pace to be available should he be needed at some point in the postseason. After starting to skate last week, he faced shots for the first time on Monday.
“Good,” Rask said when asked how he felt after the practice. “It was good to get back on the ice with the guys and stop some shots, so it was all good.”
Rask didn’t look slowed by his injury Monday, as he moved around well and went into the butterfly position with ease.
The goalie wouldn’t say whether he thinks he’ll be on the bench for Game 1 against the Capitals Thursday, while Claude Julien said Rask remains day-to-day. The Finnish net minder was pleased with what he was able to get out of Monday’s skate, and said that he made every type of save he would need to make to feel ready without overdoing it.
“You don’t want to just go out there and hurt it again in the first practice,” he said. “I pretty much did everything I wanted to, so it was a good day.”
This injury was the first time in his Bruins career that Rask has been out for an extended period of time. While recovering, Rask said he spoke to teammates Andrew Ference and Greg Zanon, both of whom have had similar injuries in the past.
“It’s not easy,” he said. “It’s been a tough five weeks and a couple more days, just to stay out and not be able to go out with the guys and go on the road and stuff. It’s tough to not push it too much and just stay patient.”
Rask wouldn’t go into specifics regarding what his plan is in the coming days. He didn’t say whether he needs to ramp it up more, as he said is plan is to “just try to stop every puck.”
|Secretive Claude Julien says Adam McQuaid’s status is ‘up in the air’||04.09.12 at 1:03 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid did not participate in Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, the only notable absence for the B’s as they prepare for the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
McQuaid went into the end boards head-first in the Bruins’ March 29 game against the Capitals, with the Bruins defenseman cutting his eye, which led to swelling. He tried to return last Thursday against the Senators while wearing a visor, but left the game in the second period.
The plot thickened a bit regarding his actual injury after Monday’s practice, as Claude Julien would not term McQuaid’s injury an eye injury, but an “upper-body injury.” Asked whether the team was treating the injury as a concussion, Julien declined response.
“Peter [Chiarelli] addressed [McQuaid’s status] yesterday, and every day we keep going back to the same guys,” Julien said. “It’s day-to-day. It’s playoff time, and it’s day-to-day, so that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
Both Johnny Boychuk and Tuukka Rask returned to practice Monday. Rask faced shots, while Boychuk took regular turns in line rushes and took physical contact. Julien feels the two players are headed in the right direction, but noted it’s a tougher call with McQuaid.
“His situation is up in the air,” Julien said. “It could be resolved soon or later. Right now, as I told you guys the other day, we’re use being cautious. He’s day-to-day, and cautious is the approach we’ve taken.”
|Johnny Boychuk, Tuukka Rask present for first postseason practice||04.09.12 at 10:48 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins held their first practice of the postseason Monday at Ristuccia Arena. Johnny Boychuk (knee) and Tuukka Rask (abdomen/groin) were both present for the skate, while Adam McQuaid (eye) was missing.
The lines are as follows:
Jordan Caron served as the extra forward on the Campbell line. One could assume the final spot in the lineup will come down to Caron and Paille.
Boychuk took regular turns when the Bruins did line rushes early in the skate. Rask was moving around well, taking shots as one of three goaltenders on the ice. Tim Thomas and Anton Khudobin are the other two, as Marty Turco is ineligible because he signed after the trade deadline.
|Bruins-Capitals first-round schedule||04.08.12 at 1:09 pm ET|
The Bruins’ schedule in the first round of the playoffs against the Capitals is as follows:
Game 1, at Boston: Thursday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.
Game 2, at Boston: Saturday, April 14, 3 p.m.
Game 3, at Washington: Monday, April 16, 7: 30 p.m.
Game 4, at Washington: Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.
*Game 5, at Boston: Saturday, April 21, 3 p.m.
*Game 6, at Washington: Sunday, April 22, time TBD
*Game 7, at Boston: Wednesday, April 25, time TBD
* If necessary
|Peter Chiarelli says Nathan Horton ‘a longshot’ to return this season, gives updates on Tuukka Rask, Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid||04.08.12 at 1:01 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said on a conference call Sunday that while he won’t rule Nathan Horton out for the season, the veteran winger is a “longshot” to play again this season after suffering his most recent concussion in January.
Horton began skating last week but has not yet been cleared for contact. Chiarelli noted that Horton is “quite far off right now” as he still has occasional post-concussion syndrome issues. Even if Horton were to be cleared for contact, Chiarelli said the 26-year-old would still need “a couple of weeks” before he would be ready to play in games.
“Well, certainly if he were to be cleared at some point, he’d need at least a couple weeks to get back so he’s quite far off right now,” Chiarelli said. “I know he’s skating, [but] he’s had little bouts here and there with post-concussion symptoms so it’s a long shot. I’m not going to rule him out yet but it’s a longshot.”
In 46 games this season, Horton has 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points and an even rating.
On the status of the team’s other injured players, Chiarelli said defensemen Johnny Boychuk (bruised knee) and Adam McQuaid (swollen eye) are both “day-to-day,” while he considers goaltender Tuukka Rask “a little bit more than day-to-day” as the Finnish netminder looks to return from an abdomen strain/groin strain. If Rask is unable to play, Anton Khudobin will be Tim Thomas‘ backup when the playoffs begin against the Capitals.
|Patrice Bergeron ends Bruins’ regular season in style||04.07.12 at 6:37 pm ET|
Three assists weren’t enough for Patrice Bergeron on Saturday, so he closed the regular season by scoring the only goal of a shootout and giving the Bruins a 4-3 win over the Sabres. The B’s finished the season with a 49-29-4 record and 102 points.
The game didn’t count, but Bergeron’s line gave the Garden a glimpse of what they’re hoping to do in the playoffs. In addition to Bergeron’s three helpers, the line got two goals from Tyler Seguin and one from Marchand. Seguin finished the season with a team-leading 29 goals and 67 points.
The Bruins came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game in the third period on goals from Seguin and Marchand. The teams went scoreless through the overtime period.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– With 66 points, Seguin became the youngest player to ever lead the Bruins in points. He also tripled his total of 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) from his rookie year. Much of Seguin’s success has come thanks to the fact that he’s spent the season on lines with either Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci, but credit has to be given for taking the leap the team hoped he would take.
– The Bruins gave out their team awards prior to the game. Brad Marchand was given the Dufresne Trophy, as voted on by the Boston chapter of the Pro Hockey Writers’ Association, for best play at home after totaling 17 goals and 13 assists for 30 points at the Garden this season. Zdeno Chara was given the Eddie Shore Award for hustle and determination, while Marchand also received the John P. Bucyk Award for off-ice charitable contributions.
– Fighting is a rarity in the playoffs, so Shawn Thornton got in one last fight — his 20th of the season — by dropping the gloves with Robyn Regehr in the first period.
– Bergeron’s second assist of the day was his 400th career point, and he finished the day with 64 points on the season and 401 in his career thus far. His 42 assists this season ties for his second-best single-season total in his career. His best season for assists remains 2006-07, when he had 48.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Tim Thomas did not get the 521-save (you read that right) shutout that he would have needed to remain the holder of the single-season save percentage record. Blues goaltender Brian Elliott, currently at .940, should surpass the .939 mark that Thomas had a season ago.
– Speaking of Thomas, Saturday marked just the first time in eight games that Thomas allowed three of more goals. That’s actually a pretty good sign for the Bruins, as his overall sharp play over the last few weeks is a good sign that he’s ready for the playoffs.
|Bruins-Sabres Live Blog: B’s look to finish regular season with a win||04.07.12 at 4:15 pm ET|