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Tag:Tuukka Rask
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:07 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 8:21 pm
 

Bruins sign Marty Turco after Rask injury

Turco spent 2010-11 in Chicago. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Not even an hour after the Boston Bruins announced that backup goaltender Tuukka Rask was going to miss the next 4-6 weeks with an abdomen strain/groin strain, they found their new (and temporary) backup by signing veteran Marty Turco.

Turco, who most recently played in the NHL with the Blackhawks last season, has spent time this year playing in Austria's First Division. In six postseason starts, he had a 3.16 GAA and .911 save percentage.

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com reports that it won't cost the Bruins much, the deal is just for one year and will cost $600,000, pro rated of course.

Before we get too far, it's important to note that Turco has to clear waivers before anything else. Remember last year the Red Wings signed Evgeni Nabokov from Russia but the Islanders claimed him and he never made it to Detroit.

So that's the big question here. Will any team claim Turco and now allow him to join the Bruins? Just throwing it out there but what about the Tampa Bay Lightning? Dwayne Roloson has been usurped by Mathieu Garon and hardly plays any more. They are right in the thick of things in the East again. I could also see an argument for the Senators making a claim seeing as how they are chasing the Bruins in the Northeast right now and Alex Auld hasn't inspired a lot of confidence either.

Further, even if he does make it through waivers and ends up with the Bruins, he won't be eligible to play in the playoffs. The waiver deadline for playoff additions was last week.

Last season with the Blackhawks Turco was 11-11-3 with a 3.02 goals against average and save percentage of .897. He didn't have any offers from the NHL at the time so headed to Europe.

Turco was in Boston last year for the Stanley Cup Final, as an analyst on the NHL Network's coverage.

More from Eye on Hockey

Bruins annouce Rask out 4-6 weeks

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:22 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 8:22 pm
 

Bruins backup goalie Rask to miss 4-6 weeks

Rask is helped off the ice in Saturday's game vs. the Isles. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Boston Bruins announced a tough injury for them to take on Monday, especially at this time of the season. Backup goaltender (backup in title only) Tuukka Rask is going to miss the next 4-6 weeks after he sustained a lower abdomen strain/groin strain.

The Bruins have relied on Rask to carry a decent share of the load to help keep their No. 1 goalie, Tim Thomas, fresh for another playoff run this season. Well in this regard, consider the playoffs starting a few weeks earlier for Boston. It's Timmy Time for the foreseeable future.

The timetable sets up Rask for a return just about the start of the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the Bruins want to play it when Rask comes back considering the load Thomas is about to carry.

Good thing the Bruins didn't really entertain those suggestions to trade Thomas after that White House fiasco, now isn't it? They'd be in a pretty bad spot right now if they had turned the keys over to Rask already.

The Bruins rely heavily on great play by their goaltenders. It's an important equation to their system. Obviously Thomas is capable of handling that responsibility just fine, he did last year.

A little bit more of the good news in this injury -- hey, just searching for a silver lining -- is the fact that their closest division rivals in the Northeast are also dealing with a goaltender injury, it's just the Senators happen to be without their No. 1 in Craig Anderson.

Rask has been excellent this season for the Bruins with a .929 save percentage and 2.05 goals against average in his 23 starts.

More from Eye on Hockey

Bruins sign veteran goalie Turco

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:59 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 12:06 am
 

Winners & Losers: Maple Leafs win Carlyle's debut



By: Adam Gretz

There's always a winner and a loser in the NHL, and this is a new nightly look at some of the winners and losers in the biggest games and biggest situations across the league.

Winners

Toronto Maple Leafs: It's too soon to start planning the parade in Toronto, but the Randy Carlyle era at least got off to a good start thanks to a 3-1 win in Montreal, and it was a pretty solid performance by the Leafs as well. And a much needed one.

Toronto won for just the second time in its past 12 games, and did so by nearly doubling the Canadiens on the shot chart (42-22) and receiving a pair of goals from Mikhail Grabovski, both of which came in the third period, including the eventual game-winner at the 11:45 mark.

The Leafs still have a ton of work to do in the playoff race now that the Lightning and Sabres have worked their way into it, but it's a good start, even if it's just for one night.

[Related: Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 1 -- Leafs hire Carlyle]

Nashville Predators: Saturday night was a big night for all of Nashville's trade deadline pickups during their 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers.

Andrei Kostitsyn scored his first goal as a member of the Predators and added an assist, Paul Gaustad had an assist and won 68 percent of his draws, and Hal Gill played 18 minutes, blocked a pair of shots and was credited with an assist of his own.

Pekka Rinne was also pretty sensational for Nashville between the pipes stopping 39 of the 40 shots he faced and winning his league leading 36th game of the season.

The win gives Nashville 83 points on the season and has the Predators in a pretty comfortable playoff position, currently fifth in the Western Conference..

[Related: Predators 3, Panthers 1]

Tampa Bay Lightning: I'm starting to believe this can really happen for the Lightning. Making the playoffs, that is.

They're a great home team and the schedule the rest of the way is heavy on the home side, and Steven Stamkos looks unstoppable right now with two more goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-3 overtime win on Saturday night.

[Related: Lightning 4, Hurricanes 3 -- Stamkos does it again]

Losers

Boston Bruins: Bad day all around for the Bruins. Not only did they lose in regulation to the New York Islanders, 3-2, but they also lost goaltender Tuukka Rask to an undisclosed injury that appeared to be to his left leg, preventing him from putting any weight on it as he left the ice.

The Bruins still haven't won consecutive games since the middle of January, and you have to go all the way back to late December to find the last time they were able to string together a stretch of at least three straight wins.

They look … human.

[Related: Islanders 3, Bruins 2 -- Rask injured]

Phoenix Coyotes: The Phoenix Coyotes were pretty much unable to lose in February, going 11-0-1 for the month to take over first place in the Pacific Division, and now they appear unable to win in March.

On Saturday night they dropped the second straight game, this time losing at home, 5-2, to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The worst team in hockey. That is a bad, bad loss for Phoenix, and one the Coyotes might look back on at the end of the season if they lose the division (or, worse, miss the playoffs) by one or two points.

[Related: Blue Jackets 5, Coyotes 2]

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook
Posted on: March 3, 2012 2:44 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 4:27 pm
 

Tuukka Rask leaves game with injury

RaskBy: Adam Gretz

The Boston Bruins use Tuukka Rask more than most teams use their backup goaltender, and that's because Rask is probably good enough to be a starter on a large number of teams across the league, and along with Tim Thomas he helps to form what is arguably the best 1-2 goalie duo in the NHL.

Rask had to leave Saturday's game against the New York Islanders, a 3-2 Bruins loss, early in the second period with appeared to be a left leg injury after he attempted to make a save on a shot from Matt Martin. Rask had to be helped off the ice and did not put any weight on his left leg as he made his way to the locker room.



Following Saturday's game Boston coach Claude Julien said Rask will not accompany the team on its upcoming road trip.

In 21 starts this season Rask has posted an 11-8-3 record to go with a .929 save percentage and three shutouts. He's been Thomas' backup for each of the past three seasons and has seen significant playing time during that stretch, putting up number that have rivaled those of Thomas.

It's not a good time for the Bruins to lose him as their schedule starts to pick up down the stretch, including numerous back-to-back situations where Rask would be expected to get some starts. If he misses any extended period of time it's going to certainly add to Thomas' workload.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 15, 2012 6:53 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 6:54 pm
 

Roenick OK if Blackhawks trade Kane for goalie

Kane is a three-time All-Star at age 23. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Chicago Blackhawks are in one serious tailspin. They have lost nine games in a row. Heck, coach Joel Quenneville and the goaltending duo of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery just got a vote of confidence. That's never a good sign. If a GM has to do that, then you know things aren't going well.

It has people thinking that the Blackhawks need to go out at the trade deadline and find some help for their defense or possibly even the goaltending.

Former Blackhawks star and current NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick is in the group that sees a serious need to upgrade the goaltending. Seriously upgrade the goaltending, as in somebody that would be worth trading Patrick Kane. Seriously.

Check out what J.R. had to say to ESPN Chicago.

"Everybody knows I am a huge Patrick Kane fan, but when you're talking something of this nature, is Patrick Kane dealable? As much as I don't want to say it, they can afford to get rid of Patrick Kane," Roenick said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "They can afford to -- with the season he's having -- maybe with his off-ice reputation, maybe with the skill they have on their team -- it's doable.

"Do I like it? No, because I love Patrick Kane. He is one of the most talented and one of the best players in the NHL. But if you really want a top-end goaltender you're going to have to give up somebody."

OK, playing along for a minute here, let's pretend that the Blackhawks do consider trading Kane for goaltending. We'll just have some fun here. Who could they get? First team that jumps to mind for me is Vancouver and Cory Schneider, but I just can't see those two teams making a swap like that with their animosity.

In the East the Bruins have two goalies but with Tim Thomas' age, you wouldn't think they'd be keen on getting rid of Tuukka Rask.

What about a favorite trading partner of Chicago lately, the Florida Panthers? They have who many call the best goaltending prospect in the league in Jacob Markstrom and some stellar young defensemen in the organization. Of course Panthers GM Dale Tallon knows Kane well and he is certainly young enough to fit into Tallon's long-term visions.

Even still, from Florida's perspective, I don't know if even Kane would be enough to part with Markstrom.

But that's all suspending our disbelief. It was fun for a few paragraphs but back in reality there's no way the Blackhawks are trading Kane for goaltending right now.

This slump right now in Chicago is bad, but it's not THAT bad.

More from Eye On Hockey

Quenneville, goalies get vote of confidence
Updating NHL Trade Deadline Rumor Mill

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 28, 2012 12:00 am
Edited on: January 29, 2012 10:25 am
 

Tim Thomas responds to criticism

Thomas

By: Adam Gretz

The Tim Thomas White House controversy just won't go away, even though he wishes that it would.

After he refused to attend the Bruins visit to the White House earlier in the week, the Conn Smythe winning goaltender has drawn a flood of criticism from media, fans and even anonymous sources within the Bruins organization, referring to his decision as "selfish," as the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday.

Even though he said his Facebook statement explaining his position would be his only comment on the matter, it's been all anybody wants to talk about anytime he's been in front of a microphone or camera during the All-Star weekend festivities.

During his media availability on Friday, for example, he was asked if he wanted to see this all just go away.

“I think it should. I think it should," said Thomas. "I think it’s all media-driven right now. It has been from the start. Everything I said then was as an individual. It wasn’t as a representative of the Boston Bruins. All it has to do is with me. It’s separate from hockey. That’s my personal life. Those are my personal views. Those are my personal beliefs. It has nothing to do with hockey. It has nothing to do with this All-Star Game.”

Thomas did not join the Bruins on Monday and said later in the evening that it was his right as an individual to not go, a decision he made because he feels the Federal government "has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People."
 
The controversy that followed even led to speculation that maybe this could be the beginning of the end for Thomas' time in Boston, which seems pretty silly to think about. Of course, sooner rather than later Thomas and the Bruins are going to part ways, but that has more do with the fact he is 37 years old, only has one year remaining on his contract, and the team already has his replacement, Tuukka Rask, on the roster. Not because he skipped out on taking a trip to visit the President.

Thomas will also eventually get his wish, and this story will disappear. Perhaps as soon as the second half of the season starts up and he gets back into the crease and starts winning games again.

That always seems to put a pretty quick stop to a lot of controversies like this.

Photo: Getty Images

Previously at Eye On Hockey

Bruins honored at White House while Thomas declines
Thomas explains decision
Thomas Speculation starts

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:41 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 3:30 pm
 

Report: Thomas called selfish; Speculation starts

Thomas had a chance to be heard and he took it. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The biggest non-news story of the hockey season -- the defending champions visiting the White House and meeting the President of the United States -- is mushrooming into one of the bigger stories this season. Sadly, that might not be hyperbole based on the latest reports out of Boston.

By now you surely know about Tim Thomas' decision to not join his teammates on their trip to the White House. He instead chose to skip it as a protest to what he later revealed in his Facebook statement is the ever-expanding reach of the federal government. It ignited a wildfire that's leading people to thinking some awfully irrational things.

First, here is what is being said from within the Bruins organization, outside of their public statements. From Fluto Shinzawa at the Boston Globe:

It was Timmy being Timmy.

“[Expletive] selfish [expletive]," one team source said.

But that's not the view from everybody. Milan Lucic was on the record saying it didn't bother him and Shinzawa reported two team sources didn't believe Thomas' decision would have any negative effects in the locker room, it's par for Timmy's course.

Sounds pretty similar to another player in Boston sports (Manny Ramirez, anyone?) In the case of Ramirez, the Red Sox put up with his antics for some time before he was eventually pushed out of town.

Could that actually be a possibility for Thomas? After all, as Shinzawa writes (and makes clear with Timmy being Timmy) he is a bit of a lone wolf. He's a goaltender, and you know it's OK to categorize every goalie out there as a wackjob.

The answer is maybe, according to Shinzawa.

Thomas’s decision, however, may be the first step in goalie and team parting ways. His no-movement clause expires at the conclusion of this season. Thomas has one more season remaining on his four-year, $20 million contract. Rask, a restricted free agent at year’s end, should be ready to assume the starting job in 2012-13.

Now you know this story is getting out of hand. Look, I'd understand trading Thomas from a hockey perspective. I think it would be a mistake and would be stupid, but I understand it. He's up there in age at 37, his value is still incredibly high and Tuukka Rask has proven to be more than capable. The hockey aspect makes sense ... except when you remember that Thomas is arguably still the best in the world and can lead the Bruins to back-to-back Stanley Cups this season. Don't forget that little aspect of the equation.

I haven't understood this whole soap opera at any point. I've seen people complaining that Thomas decided to politicize an event that wasn't about politics. The way I see it, this was the most political thing any of the Bruins players have done in their careers. It's certainly more political than all the time they spend playing games, practicing or traveling. Should he instead have had a grandstanding session after a November shutout in the locker room? He was presented with a chance to make a political statement and he took it.

Further, I'd argue that this didn't take away from the Bruins' day at the White House at all. What this Thomas story did is actually make people remember that the Bruins visited the White House period. It's an event that is a photo op where the honoring from the president lasts literally less than 10 minutes. A lot of people have no idea that the St. Louis Cardinals just had the same honor a week ago. It was hardly news.

But now? Oh, everybody knows the Bruins visited the White House as the reigning champions. This whole saga has only shined a brighter light on the visit.

There are others that don't care what Thomas has to say about politics, he's just a hockey player. I see that all the time and it irritates me to no end. So because somebody is an athlete they can't have their own ideologies? The difference between Thomas and that neighbor of yours who litters his yard with political signs is that Thomas has a bigger platform. He wanted to get a message across and he did it.

I don't know who the source was that so eloquently called Thomas selfish, obviously. But I'd bet that even that person wouldn't want Thomas off the team. I was in the locker room with the Bruins last night, we in the media saw Thomas walking around munching on a postgame snack and going into the changing area with the other players. He didn't appear to be in any kind of awkward state of avoidance.

I can't see how this becomes a seriously divisive issue as some make it out to be. Are the other guys going to be so upset that they stop playing in front of Thomas and hinder their own goal of repeating as champs? Or might it be a distraction with the team and Thomas being asked about it?

Doubtful. Thomas is a strong-willed person, that's evident. He said in his Facebook statement that this was the only thing he was going to say on the whole fiasco. That's it. When he is eventually asked by the media, you already know he is going to defiantly say he's not talking about it. That will be that.

So Thomas has a bit of a selfish side and this let it be seen to the rest of the world. So what? Chalk it up to goalies being goalies (or Timmy being Timmy, in this case) and move on, I have little doubt the players will.

In the meantime, I'm left wondering how many write-in votes Thomas will get in this year's presidential election because you just know he'll get some.

More from Eye on Hockey

B's hit break on slump by their standards
Thomas explains decision to skip White House
Bruins honored in visit to White House

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:04 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 3:56 pm
 

Weekend Wrap: Halak, Elliott duo dominating

Halak and Elliott have nine shutouts combined(Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

When it comes to the awards season, not many people pay much attention to the Jennings Trophy. The goaltender hardware that matters is the Vezina, going to the top individual goaltender. But this year the Jennings race could be almost as compelling and debateable.

In case you need a refresher on one of the lesser-known NHL awards, the Jennings goes to the best goaltending tandem for one team. It's a way to recognize the best backups as well as starters in the league.

Now I'm starting to wonder just which duo is going to take the trophy home. It seems to me to be a two-horse race and will likely remain that way through the rest of the season: The Boston Bruins or St. Louis Blues.

Everybody knows about the Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask pairing in Boston. As great as Thomas is, it's Rask that's having the better season of the two with a 1.69 goals against average and a league-high .943 save percentage. To be honest, they are probably still the favorites.

But don't dismiss Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis. The only thing putting them in second place right now is the slow start to the season for Halak. I think it's safe to say he has rebounded just fine.

On Saturday night Halak grabbed another win when the Blues gave the Sabres their 12th straight road loss, 4-2. For Halak it meant a 14-game unbeaten (in regulation) streak. In that time he's an astonishing 11-0-3 and he has three shutouts now in his last five starts.

Let me put it this way to tell you how good this duo has become: On the season Elliott has five shutouts and Halak has four. That means they have shut out opponents in more than 19 percent of their games this season. Just how Ken Hitchcock likes it.

In all, it's part of the crazy trend that we're seeing under Hitchcock in St. Louis and the success of the Blues. In the month of January they are 8-0-1. At home now the Blues are 21-3-3. And check out this one from NHL.com's Brian Compton: With David Perron in the lineup (so stretching back two years), the Blues are 25-1-2 in their last 28 games. Unbelievable.

The return of Halak, though, is the most interesting aspect to me. The Blues brought him in from Montreal after that spectacular close to the season and playoff push with the Canadiens with the hope that he was going to be their feature goalie. It didn't start out that well. Last season was not good up to any starter's standards for Halak and you were left to wonder if this was another example of a playoff cinderella falling back to normalcy.

It was continuing this season, too. Remember back to the beginning of the year when Elliott was the only one winning in St. Louis. It seemed like the backup was on his way to becoming the starter for the Blues. Elliott is the one who earned an All-Star berth and turned a two-way contract into a three-year extension. Halak was becoming an afterthought.

So much for that theory. Apparently all it took was Hitchcock to come to town and bring a system to help Halak succeed. Usually I subscribe to the theory that if you have two starting goaltenders you really have none. That doesn't work in St. Louis, not this year.

It has all led to another unbelievable fact: the Bruins are no shoe-in for the Jennings this season.

All-time Canuck

Speaking of the Jennings Trophy, one of last season's winners, Roberto Luongo (along with his teammate Cory Schneider) took a rare honor home on Saturday after the Canucks' 4-3 win over the Sharks. With it he passed Kirk MacLean to become the franchise's all-time leader in wins with 212.

More from the weekend
Recaps
Stories

The rare honor? He currently holds that record for two franchises as he is still the all-time leader in wins for the Florida Panthers as well.

Not too shabby for a guy who has been treated awfully harshly over the years in Vancouver, particularly in the last year. It's been tough to keep the perspective on things that, yea, Luongo is a pretty damn good goalie.

Of course, he has been blessed enough to play in front of some good teams that can, for example, help him get a win against one of the best teams in the league despite giving up three goals, as was the case against San Jose.

Luongo won't be in the conversation this season for any of the regular-season awards, Vezina or Jennings. But don't mistake that for a goalie that isn't still one og the better netminders in the game.

Wings keep rollin', rollin', rollin'

Seriously, all due apologies for the Limp Bizkit reference a decade after the fact.

But the point stands: If the Detroit Red Wings are playing at home, they are going to win the game. The snuck past the Columbus Blue Jackets in the shootout on Saturday to extend their franchise-record home-winning streak to 16 games.

Imagine that, the Wings have been plowing through the rest of the league this season but need a shootout to get by the NHL-worst Blue Jackets.

Some people criticize when good teams sneak past bad teams. Me? I often take the other approach: Good teams find ways to win games when they aren't at their best. I'd put the shootout win for the Wings over the Jackets in that category. Still, a win is a win and now Detroit is only a couple of games from the NHL record.

One-sided rivalry

That describes the battle of Alberta at the moment.

Nobody is going to confused the Calgary Flames for juggernauts right now, except maybe their rivals in Edmonton.

The Flames continued their dominance over their provincial neighbors on Saturday with a 6-2 beating of the Oilers. You know it's one-sided in the series when Lee Stempniak is recording hat tricks.

For those keeping track at home, that makes nine consecutive wins in the series for the Flames. Man, that really has to sting the fans in Edmonton. They have to be dying for the team to return to respectability, getting dominated by the Flames isn't a sign you're there.

Quote of the weekend

“It’s hard to get shots when you don’t have everyone playing the right way, I guess. It’s going to take 20 guys. Tonight, I don’t think we had 20. It’s hard to say [how many they did have] right after a game. I’m sure it will be clear on video, but we need more. You need four lines if you want to win games in this league, bottom line.

“We’ve got to find more ways to score goals. There’s maybe some guys gripping the stick, but at the end of the day, guys have got to find the back of the net. It can’t just be one or two guys. That’s what it feels like it’s been, at least lately. We need more goals from lots of people." -- L.A. Kings captain Dustin Brown (from L.A. Kings Insider).

Well I know one of those 20 that didn't help in the Kings' 3-1 loss to the Avalanche on Saturday, backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

Lame jokes aside, it's a season-long issue that isn't getting much better under Darryl Sutter. The Kings just can't score and it's a massive testament to Jonathan Quick that the Kings are still in the thick of things in the Pacific Division.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com