|What they’re saying in the Windy City: Tuukka Rask is really good, Bruins are outhitting Blackhawks, Jonathan Toews needs to step it up||06.17.13 at 1:09 pm ET|
Chicago sportswriters realized over the weekend what Bruins fans have known for quite some time: Tuukka Rask is really, really good.
Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune writes that Rask has been the Bruins’ ‘saving grace,’ his 1.73 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in the playoffs a huge reason the Bruins have gotten this far. She credits Rask, who collected 33 saves Saturday’s Game 2 overtime win, with preventing the game from ‘spinning wildly out of the Bruins’ control.’
Count Tyler Seguin among those appreciative of the netminder’s performance.
‘He shows on a consistent basis why we have so much confidence in him, but he also gives us more motivation to do it for him sometimes,” Seguin said. “Especially if you look at [Saturday’s] game, it could have been 4-0 or 5-0 after the first. We weren’t ready. We were on our heels, and they were playing great. He kept us in the game.”
Kane quotes Rask, however, as staying his usual, humble ‘ albeit tired after not sleeping much Saturday night ‘ self.
“I don’t try to prove anything to anybody else but for myself and my teammates,” Rask said. “I always feel like I’m in a zone. ‘¦ It’s nothing different. It’s just another game.’
|Morning skate notes: Andrew Shaw throws fit and we should all dwell on the fact that somebody gave Tyler Seguin a Selke vote||06.15.13 at 2:08 pm ET|
– It was tough to tell what the lines will be given that Jaromir Jagr was not on the ice, as he commonly abstains from morning skate. Because Jagr wasn’t out there, Tyler Seguin skated in Jagr’s place on Patrice Bergeron‘s line. That’s interesting because when Jagr has missed skates in the past, the team has put a healthy scratch, such as Carl Soderberg, in his place and kept the other lines the same. Perhaps Claude Julien saw enough in Seguin in Game 1 to put him back in the top six mix. Seguin has just one goal this postseason.
– Speaking of Seguin, No. 19 was amused by the fact that he received a fourth-place vote for the Selke trophy. The Selke is given to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” which Seguin, um, is not. Seguin is known for his elite offensive skill and skating, but he is one of the Bruins’ worst defensive players. He was surprised to see that somebody voted for him (it’s decided by the Pro Hockey Writers’ Association), and with three points, he was second among Bruins players in Selke voting (Bergeron had 1250). That means Seguin had more points than friend and actual good two-way forward Brad Marchand, which Seguin found entertaining.
– Andrew Shaw had an uncomfortable temper tantrum during the Blackhawks’ media availability. Because Patrick Kane‘s stall is next to his in the Blackhawks’ dressing room, Shaw had difficulty to access his stall given the media crowd. That prompted Shaw to kick a trash barrel across the room. Blackhawks PR calmed Shaw down in the corner away from the area.
– A reporter who may have been unfamiliar with Jagr’s tendency to miss morning skates asked Julien if Jagr was alright, to which Julien responded, “he’s 100 percent. He’s 41.”
|Claude Julien: Game 1 loss ‘certainly won’t’ keep Bruins from coming back||06.13.13 at 1:48 am ET|
Claude Julien doesn’t believe Thursday morning’s heartbreaking end to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals will have a lingering effect on his team. Julien pointed to the 2011 Cup finals when the Bruins lost the first two games in Vancouver before coming back to win the Cup.
Julien was asked if the veteran make-up of his roster will help in preventing hangover from the 4-3 loss to Chicago in triple overtime.
“Not really,” Julien said. “Last time we won the Cup, we lost the first two games to Vancouver. It never stopped us from coming back. This
“When you look at the game, it could have gone either way. I thought we had some real great looks in overtime. With a little bit of luck, we could have ended it before they did. But that’s the name of the game. They got a good break on their tying goal going off one of our skates. That’s the way the game goes. Some nights you get the break going your way, some nights you don’t. As far as I’m concerned, two good teams tonight that played extremely hard. Unfortunately there’s a loser and a winner.
“It’s never easy to lose a game when you’re in the third overtime period. I liked our first period. Second period was OK until those three penalties. Kind of gave them momentum and took it away from us. But, you know, I thought that in overtime we got better. We got a little stronger. We had some great looks, some great opportunities, we just didn’t bury them. Eventually somebody is going to score a goal as fatigue sets in. [I’m] not disappointed in our effort. There’s certain things you’re going to want to fix for next game. But as far as the game is concerned, it was a hard-fought game.”
Julien also had a good-natured jab at Andrew Shaw, who scored off a double deflection for the game-winner. Julien was asked how Shaw fits in on a Chicago team full of stars.
“Where does he fit in?” Julien asked the reporter. “I don’t think we do our game-planning around Mr. Shaw. Our game plan is against the Chicago Blackhawks. We know he’s an agitator. We know he’s good at embellishing, too, at times. We know all that stuff. We’ve done our research.”
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: Zdeno Chara’s presence ‘mammoth in a series like this’||06.10.13 at 1:38 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to preview the Stanley Cup finals between the Bruins and Blackhawks.
The B’s and Blackhawks have a number of similarities, but McGuire said no other team has someone who can compare to Zdeno Chara.
“They’re similar in a lot of different respects,” McGuire said. “They’re similar in terms of their star power through the middle. They’re similar in terms of their size and their speed on the wings. They’re similar in terms of veteran experience in goal — or lack thereof. They’re similar in terms of their depth on defense. Chicago’s left defense [Duncan Keith, Johnny Oduya and Nick Leddy] is much faster than Boston’s left defense. That’s a key part of the Chicago team. But nobody outside of Boston has Chara. That is mammoth in a series like this.”
Added McGuire: “Chara’s made a huge impact on these playoffs, as he usually does, and he’s made a huge impact especially in the last series.”
Another similarity is the fact that both teams have an agitator who has some talent: Brad Marchand and Andrew Shaw. Of Shaw, McGuire joked that Bruins fans “are going to learn to love him quick.”
“Like Marchand, Shaw has tremendous offensive skill. ‘¦ He’s not a guy that’s just a super pest. He’s a player. He’s a real player,” McGuire said. “He’s very similar to Marchand. I don’t know if his top-end skill is as good as Marchand; in fact, I would say it’s not. But his pest factor is as high if not higher. He’s fearless, absolutely fearless. Tremendous player. There’s not a team in the league that wouldn’t want this player.”