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Tuukka Rask gets eight years, $56 million from Bruins 07.10.13 at 5:28 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Wednesday that they have signed goaltender Tuukka Rask to an eight-year, $56 million contract.

Though not the richest contract for a goalie in NHL history because there is now an eight-year limit on contract terms, Rask’s $7 million cap hit ties him with Nashville’s Pekka Rinne for the highest-paid goalie in the league.

Rask played on a one-year, $3.5 million deal last season, his first as a full-time starter for the B’s. He led the B’s to within two wins of a Stanley Cup victory as he led all postseason goalies with a .940 save percentage.

Rask’s new contract makes him the team’s highest-paid player, just ahead of Zdeno Chara, who makes $6.91 million a season.

In 36 regular-season games in 2013, Rask posted a 19-10-5 record with a GAA of 2.00 and a .929 save percentage with five shutouts. The B’€™s netminder finished the season tied for fourth in the NHL in wins (19), tied for first in shutouts (five), third in save percentage (.929) and tied for fourth in goals against (1.96).

During the 2013 postseason, Rask led the NHL in save percentage (.940), tied for first in shutouts (three) and finished fourth in GAA (1.88) in 22 games. Rask set a club record for home playoff shutout streak at 193:16, spanning from Game 4 of the conference finals to Game 3 of the Cup finals.

In Tim Thomas‘ final season with the Bruins (2011-12), Rask appeared in 23 games, recording an 11-8-3 record with a 2.05 GAA and a save percentage of .929. In 2009-10, Rask set a career high in wins (22) and led the NHL with a 1.97 GAA and .931 save percentage, becoming the first Bruins goaltender to have a GAA below 2.00 since 1998-99. His 1.97 GAA that season, was the lowest by any Bruins goaltender since 1938-39 season.

In 138 NHL games, all of which have come with the Bruins, Rask has compiled a 66-45-16 record with 16 shutouts, a .927 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average. The 26-year-old has appeared in 35 postseason games for the Bruins, amassing a 21-14 record, while posting a 2.15 GAA and a .930 save percentage with three shutouts.

Prior to joining Boston, Rask spent the majority of two seasons with the Providence Bruins (AHL) from 2007-09, amassing a record of 60-33-6 with a 2.42 GAA and .910 save percentage. In his rookie season with Providence in 2007-08, Rask finished the season tied for fifth in wins (27) and the following year was tied for second (33).

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound native of Tampere, Finland, was selected in the first round (21st overall) of the 2005 NHL draft by the Maple Leafs. The Bruins acquired Rask from the Maple Leafs in exchange for Andrew Raycroft on June 24, 2006.

Mike Petraglia contributed to this report.

Read More: Boston Bruins, NHL, Pekka Rinne, Tuukka Rask
Brad Marchand: ‘We had a good opportunity and it slipped through our fingers’ 06.26.13 at 10:45 pm ET
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Brad Marchand wasn’t hiding much on Wednesday during breakup day for the Bruins at TD Garden.

Marchand made it clear that he’s still pretty depressed about what happened on Monday night, when a 2-1 lead with less than 90 seconds left turned into a 3-2 loss in the matter of 17 seconds.

While there will be several veterans departing (Andrew Ference, Jaromir Jagr, Jay Pandolfo), the core of a talented young team will remain intact. That was reassuring but only small consolation Wednesday.

“Well, it’€™s definitely a little reassuring that we know we could potentially have a good team,” Marchand began. “I mean, things always happen, trades and everything like that, but for the most part the foundation is there. But I don’€™t think it changes what happened, we had a good opportunity and it slipped through our fingers. That was a tough game to swallow.”

But with names like Tyler Seguin, Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Marchand himself, the team figures to make deep runs in the Cup playoffs a habit.

“I mean, you look at a lot of guys on our team are locked in here and they definitely did a great job of making sure were going to have a very good team for a while,” Marchand said. “And we’€™re very, very fortunate to be a part of this organization and this team. We definitely have a good group in here.”

With so much talk about injuries on Wednesday, did Marchand suffer any injury?

“Just my heart,” he quipped.

How is this year’s loss different that 2012 first-round exit to the Capitals?

“It’€™s definitely a lot better than losing in the first round, but it’€™s still disappointing,” Marchand said. “Whether you lose in the first round or the finals, you didn’€™t win. So it’€™s definitely different in ways where we made it here and had the opportunity but still didn’€™t win.”

Now Marchand and the Bruins begin a short summer break before September rolls around.

“It’€™s definitely going to be a little bit different,” he said. “We finished so late and we start a week early, so, I mean, were going to have to take a little bit less of a break and try to get back right into things quickly and get prepared for that training camp.”

Marchand was held without a point in the six games against Chicago and didn’t score a goal in the final eight games of the playoffs.

“They’€™re a good team,” Marchand said of the Blackhawks. “They were tough to play against, and things just didn’€™t go right. It would have been nice to contribute a little more.

“It was a different year. Missing up until Christmas time and coming back in, it was a different season. But you always want to try to improve in all areas of your game. I thought this year I was a little bit better defensively and tried to focus a little bit more on that, but definitely still areas to improve.”

Read More: 2013 Stanley Cup, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, NHL
Peter Chiarelli on Patrice Bergeron: ‘Of course he was at risk’ at 9:52 pm ET
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The only thing Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli felt certain of when it came to Patrice Bergeron Wednesday was that Bergeron was putting himself at some risk by playing with a broken rib and torn cartilage in Game 6 against Chicago.

Chiarelli confirmed that Bergeron, who also suffered a separated shoulder in the first period of Game 6, went to the hospital after the Blackhawks won the Cup and remained there for observation after it was determined that he had a small puncture in his lung.

Chiarelli said that Bergeron took a shot for the pain in his ribs before Game 6, “freezing” the area in pain.

“Of course he was at risk. Anytime anyone gets frozen up they’€™re at risk,” Chiarelli said. “Not for future injury, but from a pain perspective, and certainly he was at risk from the lung perspective, but it was a small puncture and he’€™s fine now.”

What was not clear from Chiarelli or Claude Julien on Wednesday is exactly when he suffered the puncture.

“There’€™s a freezing type of procedure, the nerve block, that Patrice opted to do so he could play in [Game 6], and at some point before or after the game, it could have been the cracked rib, there was a puncture in his lung,” Chiarelli said. “That’€™s why he was under observation following the game. It was a very small hole, and he’€™s fine. Patrice is fine. I don’€™t know when it happened.

“I don’€™t think he could have played if it happened during the game. I just, I don’€™t. I’€™m not a doctor, but I don’€™t think he could have played if it happened. He was aware of the risk going into it.”

Did Bergeron put his life at risk by playing?

“No, I don’€™t know exactly what had happened, but he couldn’€™t have played if it had happened during the game, so it may have happened after,” Chiarelli said. “We caught it and it was like he had a pain in his lung and we brought him to the hospital.”

It was Claude Julien who watched Bergeron closely from behind the bench throughout Game 6.

“If [punctured lung] had happened during the game, he wouldn’€™t have been able to recover as far as having that little puncture in his lung,” Julien said. “He wouldn’€™t have been able to recover, so the biggest speculation is that it didn’€™t happen during the game.”

“If it had happened during the game, he would have felt the pain and then he wouldn’€™t have been able to play, and the same thing, he would have been sent to the hospital and it would have been rectified,” Chiarelli said.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, NHL, Patrice Bergeron
Patrice Bergeron ‘under observation’ in hospital after playing through injuries at 11:07 am ET
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Immediately after Monday night’s heartbreaking Game 6 loss that handed the Stanley Cup to the Blackhawks, Patrice Bergeron re-entered the hospital and remains there, the team announced Wednesday morning during break-up day at TD Garden.

Bergeron announced after the game that he was playing with a broken rib, torn cartilage and torn muscle from earlier in the final before suffering a separated shoulder during Game 6. The team said Bergeron was “under observation” at a local hospital.

Brad Marchand, Bergeron’s line-mate, spoke Wednesday about what it was like to watch Bergeron try and play through the injury in Game 6.

“You can’t say enough about him,” Marchand said. “He’s such a warrior. The fact he was able to play the whole game, every time I came to the bench, I was kind of nervous about him. I kind of watched him and I could see the pain and agony he was in. It was unbelievable to see him play through that. It just gives you that much more respect for him.”

Rich Peverley added, “It’s hard not to be in awe of him, as a player and a man.”

For more, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: 2013 Stanley Cup, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron
For Zdeno Chara, he and Bruins didn’t get ‘bounces’ they needed 06.25.13 at 10:17 am ET
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The last 76 seconds of Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup will be dissected and analyzed by Bruins fans for years to come.

What happened and how did the Bruins defense collapse? How did Bryan Bickell get free enough to pot the game-tying goal?

“I think you if I had to really talk about defense, I thought throughout the whole playoffs we did a really good job,” Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. “They did find some holes and at times, I have to be honest, it’€™s not just a matter of being in the right position or covering guys. Some bounces you need to have go your way.

“If it gets deflected and goes off skates and this and that, obviously that’€™s not an excuse but you need to have some bounces. It seemed like we didn’€™t get those like we did before. But you know, they did a great job going to the net and creating a lot of traffic in front.”

Chara, who acknowledged he was dealing with some sort of injury throughout the series, will be an obvious scapegoat in the eyes of some. He was on the ice for the game-tying goal by Bryan Bickell with 1:14 left. He was on the ice for the first two goals Monday. He was on the ice for all three goals (one empty-net) in Game 5 and he was on the ice for five of the six goals in Game 4. In all, Chara was on the ice for 10 of Chicago’s final 12 goals in the series.

But, of course, Chara was also on the ice for all of those goals because no one is trusted enough to skate the kind of minutes he did all season and throughout the playoffs.

Claude Julien rode he and Dennis Seidenberg as hard as he possibly could until there was nothing left to give. In Game 6 Monday, Chara logged a team-high 25 minutes, 29 seconds in 30 shifts. Only Duncan Keith, with 28:51 in 38 shifts skated more.

Chara was asked if he was shocked when Dave Bolland scored 17.7 seconds later on a rebound from a Johnny Oduya shot from the left point.

“You know, it wasn’€™t like it was over,” Chara said, almost defiantly. “We were still in the game. We still had some times left and obviously you’€™re asking me where was my thinking and where were my emotions? Yeah, I mean, till that buzzer I am going to try to win a hockey game. At that point, we were trying to obviously get inside their zone and make a play to try and even the game.

“On the tying goal it was a quick play, I think out of the corner that there was a guy coming to the net, guy in front and guy on the side. So, they made a quick play. The third goal there was a shot from the point, and a deflection. It’€™s a tough way to lose, tough way to lose a game, tough way to lose a series.”
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Read More: 2013 Stanley Cup, Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup, Zdeno Chara
Claude Julien on injuries: ‘This is not a time to make excuses’ at 12:53 am ET
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After Monday’s game, Claude Julien made it a point not to address injuries specifically because he thought that would come across as making excuses in the wake of a crushing Game 6 loss that handed the 2013 Stanley Cup to the Chicago Blackhawks.

“The reason I’m saying that is because this is not a time to make excuses,” Julien said of not addressing specific injuries. “They’ve got injuries, too. As the series went on, talking about since the start of the Stanley Cup, we had some injuries. And again, it’s hard to keep guys out. They want to play through it, and some guys were able to do that. I think the biggest challenge for me was probably these last few
games starting with a full roster but not being able to end with it.

“Somewhere along the way you have to shorten your bench because you don’t have four lines and players were getting hurt either at the beginning or middle of the game, so that was probably the biggest challenge. But playing hurt is part of it, and our guys did that, and that’s why I said earlier you’ve got to be extremely proud of those guys. It’s going to take a little while before we can realize the accomplishment that we had in making it to the final again, but right now it doesn’t feel good.”

In addition to Patrice Bergeron playing with a broken rib, torn cartilage and a separated shoulder, suffered in Monday’s loss, there were other Bruins playing through significant injuries.

As first reported by WEEI.com, Nathan Horton confirmed that he was playing with a separated left shoulder, which forced him out of the first overtime in the Game 1 loss in Chicago.

Tyler Seguin said he was playing through an injury that he is going to see a medical specialist about.

“I’€™ve got to see the docs [this week] and see what they say,” Seguin said. “I don’€™t know. I don’€™t want to say. I’€™ll talk to you guys. I’€™ve had the same problems my whole life.”

Then Seguin acknowledged the fact that – while he had a shortened NHL season – playing in Switzerland made for a long season.

“I played I don’€™t know many games ‘€” even though I don’€™t regret going to Europe, I definitely felt zeros pouring on in the end in the playoffs,” Seguin said. “I gave it everything I had in the tank tonight. I have no regrets looking back. Obviously I would have liked to pop a few goals for my teammates, but I’€™ve just got to move on and learn from it, and realize I’€™m still young, and have a great offseason to get ready for next year.”
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Read More: 2013 Stanley Cup, Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron
All eyes on the ice (conditions) for Game 6 06.24.13 at 2:39 pm ET
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High humidity and temperatures in the 90s outside for a second straight day are hardly the ideal conditions for good ice for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

But that’s what both the Bruins and Blackhawks will be dealing with Monday night in front of a loud and fired-up Garden crowd, whose energy will only add to the heat.

“Well, obviously with some fans in the building tonight, it’ll get obviously warmer,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “I thought the ice this morning was in pretty good shape, and they’ve done a good job. Walking in here yesterday with 90-plus degrees it was nice and cool in the arena.

“But those doors are going to open I would imagine and some of the heat will come in. But those are conditions that you have to play with at this time of year. Everybody has been through it, and two teams are going through the same conditions. Both teams are going to tell you the same truth; keep the game simple and try and avoid those mistakes from overhandling pucks in those kind of ice conditions.”

Chris Kelly, who was outspoken about the patchy ice conditions after the Bruins won Game 3, provided the best perspective.

“It’s June, late June,” he said. “You expect it. I think even up in Canada it’d still be warm. If the ice is going to be bad, it’s going to be bad for both sides. You expect that. I think the pretty plays might not always be there because of the ice conditions.”

What’s the most important thing the Bruins can do tonight to handle the ice and the Blackhawks?

“I think managing the puck, putting it in a better situation so we can get it,” Kelly said. “Just making better plays. I think our puck management can still be a bit better.”

Read More: 2013 Stanley Cup, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Chris Kelly
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