|Tuukka Rask leads Bruins to shootout win over Blue Jackets||11.17.11 at 9:42 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask and David Krejci came up big for the Bruins Thursday as they defeated the Blue Jackets, 2-1, in shootout fashion at TD Garden. Rask made 30 saves and stopped two of the three attempts in the shootout. With the shootout tied at one after two rounds, Krejci beat Curtis Sanford stick-side before Rask stopped Antione Vermette to give the B’s the win. Rich Peverley also scored for the B’s in the shootout.
Derek MacKenzie tipped a Nikita Nikitin shot on the power play to give Columbus a 1-0 lead at 2:49 of the second period. Adam McQuaid then scored his first goal of the season at 4:24 on a goal that was initially credited to Peverley.
The Bruins outshot the Blue Jackets, 5-4, in overtime, with Columbus holding a 27-22 advantage during regulation and 31-27 advantage throughout the game. The game ended a stretch of six straight games in which the B’s scored at least four goals.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– McQuaid got his first goal of the season against the team that drafted him. The defenseman was taken by Columbus in the second round of the 2005 draft and was dealt to the B’s in 2007.
– Rask had a strong showing for the B’s on a night in which he had to be on his toes. The number of Bruins turnovers and the Blue Jackets’ shot advantage meant the 24-year-old had to come up big, time after time, and he did. Rask stopped MacKenzie point-blank in front after the Columbus center got a feed from behind the net, and he made a nice pad save on Jeff Carter in the second. He came up big once again in overtime on a pair of shots in front.
– Shawn Thornton got an opportunity to drop the gloves when he squared off with Jared Boll at 8:35 of the second period. It was a pretty lengthy bout, and one that grew pretty heated, as the two were still in each other’s faces and screaming at one another following the fight. Boll may have been mad at Thornton for trying to continue the fight after refs tried to break it up.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Sloppy, sloppy play for much of the first two periods. Turnovers led to Columbus chances, including a slip-up to the right of Rask’s net by Steven Kampfer, Mark Letestu gained control on the play, but Rask bailed the B’s out, as he often had to do amidst a generally drowsy night for Boston.
– Benoit Pouliot took a really dumb roughing penalty after some work in the corner of the offensive zone with Aaron Johnson led to him taking it too far and getting his hands in the face of the Columbus defenseman right in front of a referee. With the game tied in the third period and Pouliot’s spot in the lineup not solidified, it wasn’t the smartest move in the world. Pouliot stayed in the lineup with the return of Daniel Paille, meaning Jordan Caron was the healthy scratch. We’ll see if Pouliot’s penalty costs him an opportunity Saturday against the Islanders.
– Speaking of Pouliot, the winger nearly made it two straight games with a goal when he beat Sanford high stick side. The puck appeared to go in and bounce out at first glance, but play continued and there was no video review at the next stoppage, suggesting it rang off the post/crossbar.
– A hell of a stat dug up by the great Scott McLaughlin, who notes that the Bruins’ four straight games with a power play goal allowed marks their longest such stretch since Oct. 1-12 of 2009.
– With no points in the game, Tyler Seguin now has a season-worst two-game points drought. That should borderline go in the “What Went Right” section, as it illustrates how insane Seguin has been statically this season. Seguin was tied for the lead amongst Bruins forwards with three shots on goal Thursday.
Tuukka Rask is among the most relaxed and courteous players you’ll find on the Bruins, so on the rare occasion that he gets upset, it’s a must-see moment.
The Finnish goaltender provided one of those moments in Wednesday’s practice, when Patrice Bergeron scored on him during a special teams drill. A suddenly furious Rask swung his stick four times over his head as he attempted to break it over the crossbar. When he had no luck doing so, he skated over to the gate, forced it open, and threw his stick off the ice.
“We were just joking around, or I was just joking around,” Rask explained to WEEI.com Thursday. “I was half-mad. It was a penalty-killing [drill], so I was just joking around, trying to break my stick. I couldn’t break it.”
Rask, who became a YouTube sensation when he threw milk crates onto the ice after a shootout in Providence back in 2009, knew his mini-meltdown would get plenty of attention. As such, he wasn’t surprised when it became the biggest story of Wednesday’s practice.
“Obviously you guys [expletive] jump on it right away,” he said with a laugh.
Coach Claude Julien said after the practice Wednesday that “Tuukka has a temper,” but that the B’s don’t mind it. In fact, Rask’s teammates have had fun on the rare occasions that the mild-mannered Rask gets frustrated. Last season, Rask stormed off the ice late in practice, with Michael Ryder firing a slapshot through the door that hit him in the rear end as he left the ice. Wednesday saw more of that, as players got a kick out of his attempt to break his stick.
“We were practicing the power play and Tuuks couldn’t stop a beach ball. He decided to take it out on his stick,” Brad Marchand said Wednesday on Mut and Merloni. “It was funny, though, because he couldn’t break it. So, he ended up getting madder and madder. He was breaking his stick over the post and it wouldn’t break. The boys just kept laughing at him. It was pretty funny.”
Rask said Thursday that he didn’t mind the laughter, and that it establishes that such tirades are nothing too serious.
“We were just [joking] around. Guys were laughing,” he said. “It was real good.”
Who knows if and Rask will lose his cool again. Whenever it is, he can bet on it being both a big deal and a good source of light-hearted amusement for his teammates.
|Claude Julien: Andrew Ference not yet a game-time decision, Tuukka Rask ‘has a temper’||11.16.11 at 1:33 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — After practicing for the first time since his lower-body injury, Bruins defenseman said that he is “still day-to-day,” but the Bruins doubt he will play Thursday against the Blue Jackets.
“I don’t think we’re even at that stage yet for Andrew where it’s a game-time decision,” Claude Julien said. “I don’t even know if he’s been assessed well enough to make that comment, but maybe that will change tomorrow morning.”
Perhaps the most interesting moment of Wednesday’s practice came when an enraged Tuukka Rask banged his stick on the cross-bar four times and threw his stick through the door and off the ice following a goal from Patrice Bergeron‘s line.
“Tuukka has a temper,” Julien said. “It’s not the first time he’s exhibited that. He gets mad and he’s competitive. It’s never a bad thing as long as it’s for the right reasons.”
|It appears B’s are sticking with Tuukka Rask against Oilers||11.10.11 at 11:43 am ET|
To the surprise of no one, Bruins forward Daniel Paille is officially out for Thursday night’s game against the Oilers. Paille had surgery Wednesday after getting hit in the face with a slapshot from Steve Staios in Monday’s game against the Islanders. Benoit Pouliot will play on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton in Paille’s place.
Rich Peverley, meanwhile, is a game-time decision. Peverley participated in the morning skate at TD Garden, but so did emergency call-up Zach Hamill. If Peverley, who missed Monday’s game with an undisclosed injury, is unable to play Thursday, Hamill will skate on the on the third line in his place.
Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice at the morning skate, an indication that the B’s might be giving the young netminder his second consecutive start. Rask picked up his first win of the season Monday. That would also mean two straight games on the bench for Tim Thomas, who picked up a shutout in his last start Saturday against the Maple Leafs.
|Bruins score for Tuukka Rask, get out of last place||11.07.11 at 9:29 pm ET|
The Bruins are out of last place in the Eastern Conference as they beat the Islanders, 6-2, at TD Garden Monday night. It was the B’s third straight victory.
The Bruins scored two goals in under an minute on two separate occasions Monday, with Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin scoring 29 seconds apart in the first period, and Milan Lucic and Horton burying two in quick fashion in the third period. Benoit Pouliot opened the scoring for the Bruins in the first period, sending in the rebound from a Jordan Caron shot and picking up his first goal as a member of the Bruins.
Horton had a three point night for the B’s, scoring two of his own and assisting Milan Lucic’s tally. David Krejci, who added an empty-netter late, also had a three-point game.
The win was Tuukka Rask’s first of the season, with the 24-year-old having better luck than Islanders starter Evgeni Nabokov. The veteran goalie was yanked after Seguin’s goal in favor of Al Montoya.
The B’s will next play Thursday when they host the Islanders.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Pouliot and Caron both got their first points of the season, as Caron’s assist from the game against the Senators was taken away. In Pouliot’s case, the goal gives him more of a case to potentially stay in the lineup. Pouliot was playing Monday in place of the injured Rich Peverley, and it seems that Caron had his spot in the lineup sewn up due to his improved play of late. If Pouliot can show up on the score sheet more often, perhaps there will be more of a competition between he and Caron, and that would be a good problem for the Bruins to have.
– Horton knew he had to better than he’d been playing, and a three-point night was a good place for him to start Monday. Horton notched his first tally of the night on a wrister from just inside the circle by the hashmarks — an area where he’s been so dangerous in the past — and added his second by banging home a rebound in front of Al Montoya. The Islanders net-minder came too far out to cut down the angle with Horton and Lucic on a give-and-go right after, so Horton made the easy play to set up Lucic’s tally.
– By scoring six goals Monday, the B’s tripled their previous total of three goals scored in front of Tuukka Rask all season. Rask’s been a hard-luck loser in too many contests over th last couple of seasons, so perhaps getting some support and a victory (his record now stands at 1-3-0 on the season) can help the confidence of the young netminder.
– A few streaks were extended for the Bruins. Milan Lucic has a four-game goal streak, while Patrice Bergeron’s point streak is at seven games and Seguin’s is at four games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins lost Daniel Paille for the game when the fourth-line winger took a snapshot from Steve Staois to the face. He remained down on the ice by the Bruins bench for a minute or two before getting up and revealing a small pool of blood beneath him.
– Seguin gets to show up in both sections tonight based on the fact that he had a ton of opportunities that didn’t end up in the back of the net. Among them were a give-and-go with Marchand in which he wound up with a bad angle by the time he got the puck on his forehand, and another play in which he was past the net by the time he’d received a pass from Marchand. Neither of those plays were his fault, but he was just a split second here and there from potentially having his second consecutive hat trick.
|Should Tuukka Rask be playing more?||10.25.11 at 8:44 pm ET|
An interesting point was raised regarding Bruins goaltending during Peter Chiarelli‘s conference call with the media Tuesday. Remember when the Bruins said their intention was to play Tuukka Rask more than last season, especially early on?
Rask has started just two games this season, allowing one goal to Avalanche in the B’s 1-0 loss in the third game of the season, and allowing four goals last Tuesday against the Hurricanes. As was the case last season, Tim Thomas has been the No. 1 guy by a large margin as far as starts goes.
“In fairness to Tuukka, he probably should have gotten another start here or there, but you see Tim, how he’s playing, and you want him to recapture some of the stuff that he had last year,” Chiarelli said. “‘¦ What I see and observe is we’ve had had discussions on the goaltender situation. I think in the end you’ll see it go into line with what he originally put out there.”
The upcoming home-and-home with the Canadiens should be interesting when it comes to splitting up goaltending duties, should they go in that direction. If Rask starts Thursday and Thomas starts Saturday, Thomas will have gone a week without playing. Rask has gone a week since his last start as it is, and his last game in Montreal wasn’t pretty for anyone, perhaps with the exception of Lars Eller.
Rask started 27 games last season, posting an 11-14-2 record, 2.67 goals against average, and .918 save percentage. Thomas started the rest of the games, going 35-11-9 in his second Vezina-winning season. He had a 2.00 GAA set the NHL single-season record with a .938 save percentage.
|Bruins-Hurricanes Live Blog: Rich Peverley gets Bruins on the board||10.18.11 at 6:30 pm ET|