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Tuukka Rask to start for Bruins vs. Blues 11.06.10 at 6:30 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien said late Saturday afternoon that Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes for the B’s when they take on the Blues. Rask took the loss on Friday night in relief of Tim Thomas. The 23-year-old played the third period and saw the B’s come back from a 3-0 deficit against the Capitals before John Carlson scored the game-winner for Washington.

In two starts this season, Rask has allowed seven goals and taken a pair of losses. He is 0-3-0 after falling to the Capitals on Friday.

Former Canadien Jaroslav Halak, who has put together an outstanding start to his first season in St. Louis (7-1-1, 1.53 goals against average, .940 save percentage) will be in net for the Blues. The Blues have an impressive 16 points to start the season, but have gone just 1-1-2 on the road.

Here are the anticipated lines for the B’s:

Lucic – Krejci – Horton
Caron – Bergeron- Recchi
Wheeler -Seguin- Ryder
Marchand – Campbell- Thornton

Chara – Ference
Hunwick – Seidenberg
Stuart – McQuaid

Rask
Thomas

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Mike Milbury on D&H: ‘What goes on in the mind of Tuukka Rask?’ 11.03.10 at 1:03 pm ET
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Mike Milbury

NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to talk about the Bruins and league news. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Most of the discussion focused on the Bruins’ goaltending situation, with Tim Thomas handling the bulk of duties while promising youngster Tuukka Rask sits.

Said Milbury: “It’s a happy problem, but you wonder what goes on in the mind of Tuukka Rask under these circumstances. I was talking to Kelly Hrudey last week, the Hockey Night in Canada analyst with me, and he said, ‘He may not know it, but this could be the best thing to happen to Rask. He’s got to earn that right to be called the No. 1. It’s not always easy and it’s not always a given.’ And he’s right. I’m sure Tuukka Rask doesn’t really look at it that way, but in some ways, it’s not a bad thought. Rask has to continue to compete. It keeps him sharp. The question is, When does he get the chance to go again?”

Added Milbury: “I think we mentioned last week, the schedule’s been so uneven. They’ve got to get into a rhythm at some point. And at that point, I think because of the way Thomas plays, although he’s been fairly compact and economical through the first part of the season, he still has a tendency to want to explode out and dive here and there. It will take its toll, and they’ll need Rask. And Rask will have his chance then. But who saw this coming?”

Milbury said he’s not aware that Thomas was close to being dealt last season. “I never heard anything that anything was imminent,” Milbury said. “I think there were a lot of people kicking tires, but they weren’t kicking them as hard as they would be if they were shopping him right now, I would think. He had an uneven season, and he had a bunch of years left on his contract, and he’s always been looked on as, ‘I can’t believe he’s doing this.’ There seems to be some degree of incredulity that he can make this thing happen. But he does. He does through his competitiveness and his athleticism, and his mindset.”

Milbury said the Bruins might have to consider moving Thomas, but only if an enticing trade offer is made.

“It would be interesting to see if they shopped him around, and he’d be willing to be traded, if that would bring A) cap relief and B) fill a hole someplace else, i.e., the blue line, where they’re thinner than I’d like them to be,” Milbury said, adding: “I don’t think there’s going to be any talk of that. I think things are so good right now for the Bruins, that if Peter Chiarelli is looking for cap relief, he’s probably going to look in a different direction. And I certainly don’t blame him. It would be a really gutsy move to make that deal, and if somebody came with a sweetheart of a deal, you’d have to take a look at it, knowing that Rask played as well.”

Read More: Mike Milbury, Peter Chiarelli, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask
Video: Tim Thomas named No. 1 star of the week 11.01.10 at 1:32 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was named the NHL’s No. 1 star of the week on Monday. Thomas made 49 saves in two starts over the course of the week, winning games over the Maple Leafs and Senators in shutout fashion.

On the season, Thomas, 36 has allowed just three goals in winning all six of his starts, leading the NHL in goals against average (0.50), save percentage (.984) and shutouts (3). In 43 games last season, Thomas posted a 2.56 GAA with a .915 save percentage and five shutouts.

Thomas said that the last time he felt as dominant as he currently does was back during the lockout, when he posted five shutouts in a span of 10 games. His coach felt he was undoubtedly deserving of the distinction.

“We’re definitely happy to see him play that way every night,” Claude Julien said. “It gives us a chance to win, and we know how important goaltending is in this league, and he’s provided us with an outstanding one.”

Here’s the video of Thomas discussing the honor, his hot start, and wondering whether  “Tiny” was actually Cecil Thompson‘s name.

Read More: Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask,
Tim Thomas to start for Bruins vs. Senators 10.30.10 at 11:46 am ET
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Tim Thomas did not participate in the Bruins’ optional morning skate in Ottawa on Saturday, but Claude Julien told reporters that the 26-year-old netminder will be in goal for the B’s when they take on the Senators on Saturday night.

Thomas has won all five of his starts this season, allowing just three goals in the process. He currently leads the NHL with a 0.60 goals against average and a .981 save percentage, while tying for the league lead with two shutouts. Tuukka Rask, who started the season-opener in Prague, has lost each of his two starts this season.

Read More: Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask,
Mike Milbury on D&C: ‘Don’t throw Tuukka in the 2-hole now’ 10.27.10 at 2:31 pm ET
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Mike Milbury

Mike Milbury

NESN hockey analyst Mike Milbury joined the Dale & Holley show Wednesday for his weekly hockey update and discussion of other hot topics regarding the Bruins. Milbury also talked about the latest debate, which has been the goaltender situation thus far in the season.

“It’s how to handle both of them, not just Tuukka [Rask],” Milbury said. “I don’t throw Tuukka in the 2-hole now just because [Tim] Thomas has had a good start. It looks like they’re going to battle for the top spot, and I think one of the things … is the schedule. I mean, they go overseas, they play two games, they get basically a full week off, they played three more and then they get four days off. There’s no rhythm for any of their players, not just the goaltenders.”

Following are highlights from the conversation. To hear the entire interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Can we assume the hype we saw last night in Boston won’t be matched, but will at least be evident as Phil Kessel returns to the Garden with the Maple Leafs tomorrow night?

Yeah, it’ll be fun, and the Maple Leafs are winning their share of games, so it should be competitive. They’re not trading on the back end. I mean, they’re supposed to be strong on the blue line, but they’ll, they cough it up regularly, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to score. [Jean-Sebastien] Giguere‘s been backstopping the goals against, so it’s been OK, but they’re a vulnerable team, but at least they’re playing with some vinegar, and so it should be a pretty good matchup.

If each goaltender starts roughly 40 games, what’s the best way to handle two goaltenders, and Tuukka, who’s been shaky lately?

That’s a great question. I mean, it’s how to handle both of them, not just Tuukka. I don’t throw Tuukka in the 2-hole now just because Thomas has had a good start. It looks like they’re going to battle for the top spot, and I think one of the things, before I try to answer that question, that has conspired against Rask and Thomas is the schedule. I mean, they go overseas, they play two games, they get basically a full week off, they played three more and then they get four days off. There’s no rhythm for any of their players, not just the goaltenders.

But once they get into the need of their schedule, you know, I think there’s plenty of room to let a guy run two, three or even four games in a row. But if you really want to keep the party going in terms of competition, once you get into five and six games in a row for one guy, you’re asking much from the other guy to just bounce back and be excellent in his first start.
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Read More: Boston Bruins, Mike Milbury, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask
Expect Tuukka Rask to start vs. Rangers, if you dare 10.23.10 at 12:49 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask was first off the ice during the Bruins’ morning skate Saturday, typically signifying that he will be getting the start in net when the B’s host the Rangers. Rask, however, was also thought to be the starter Thursday when he not only exited the ice first during his team’s morning workout, but insinuated that he would be receiving his first start between the pipes since the season opener on Oct. 9. “It’s fun,” Rask said after the skate, Thursday. “It’s been a while since [my] last start, so it should be great.”

Tuukka Rask hasn't been in net for the B's since Oct. 9 (AP Photo)

Tuukka Rask hasn't been in net for the Bruins since Oct. 9 (AP Photo)

during his team’s morning workout, but insinuated that he would be receiving his first start between the pipes since the season opener on Oct. 9. “It’s fun,” Rask said after the skate, Thursday. “It’s been a while since [my] last start, so it should be great.”

After Bruins’ win over the Capitals, Tim Thomas (who improved his record to 4-0 with a 0.75 goals against average), explained the situation, saying “I knew [I was going to start] from yesterday, and nobody asked me this morning.”

Claude Julien didn’t note who would be between the pipes in his press conference following Saturday’s morning skate but did comment on how Rask has approached a long stretch in which the only ice time he’s seen has been in practice.

“When you don’t play much, these practices have to be games for you,” Julien said. “You’ve got to be sharp and on top of everything, and that’s how you stay sharp.”

Rask said the same thing when asked following the morning skate. One reporter sarcastically quipped that Rask seemed more ready on Saturday than he did Thursday. The goaltender didn’t offer much of a response, simply laughing and saying, “I don’t think so.”

Rask hasn’t started since the Oct. 9 season-opener in Prague, a game in which he faced 36 shots and allowed four goals in a 5-2 loss. Thomas, meanwhile has a .978 save percentage and 0.75 goals against average in four games played. Both statistics are tops among goalies who have started a game this season.

Read More: Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask,
Nathan Horton on D&H: ‘It’s like a family already’ 10.22.10 at 1:33 pm ET
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Nathan Horton

Nathan Horton

Bruins forward Nathan Horton checked in with the Dale & Holley show Friday to talk about the B’s fast start to the season. Horton has four goals and three assists in five games as the Bruins have gone 4-1-0.

To hear the interview, including Horton’s thoughts on David Krejci and Zdeno Chara, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Horton is enjoying his new team after spending his first six seasons with the Florida Panthers in the Miami area, where hockey obviously does not have the same importance. “This is what every player dreams about playing, just this type of atmosphere, and this city,” he said of Boston. “It’s not like you can imagine. Once you’re there, it’s pretty amazing.”

Horton said no matter where he is, his style remains the same. “You have to perform,” he said. “Even if you’re not putting up points or anything, you have to work hard and be a team guy and just play hard for your teammates. I think that’s what everyone’s trying to do. We like each other as a team. It’s like a family already. Everyone gets along. It’s an unbelievable feeling when you want to come to the rink every day, you’re going to win games, and I think everyone’s having fun.”

Regarding the B’s goaltending situation, Horton said Tuukka Rask has not shown any signs of disappointment despite serving as Tim Thomas‘ backup the last four games. “He’s been great,” Horton said. “He knows he’s a great goaltender. He’s going to get his shot. … He’s still having fun. Nobody can score on him in practice, too.”

Read More: Nathan Horton, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask,
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