For the time being, struggling Vezina winner Tim Thomas will end his long national bench warming nightmare. Constant typo threat Tuukka Rask (it might be worth the cost of a plane ticket to Boston just to hear his name pronounced in those parts) started the last seven games before going down with a knee injury.
Reports indicate that Rask’s injury will be “day-to-day” which could mean just about anything. This is a golden opportunity for Thomas to regain the No. 1 status that Rask wrestled away from him briefly. If they could choose, the Bruins would prefer to bring the Finnish goalie along slowly while Thomas regains his form – something that Rask seemed to acknowledge a month ago.
“He’s the No. 1,” Rask said. “If you don’t play the No. 1, you get to thinking and it gets in your head. You really don’t want that for your No. 1 goalie. We want to be there for Timmy and we want to help him to get the points he deserves.”
Aw, how sweet. There’s no doubt that Rask has better 09-10 numbers than Thomas; he has the same amount of wins in less starts, a lower GAA and a higher save percentage. The bad news is that the Thomas contract could be a real albatross for the franchise since his cap hit can count even if he retires. On the other hand, Rask himself signed a two year $2.5 million extension that could end up being a real steal for the Bruins.
You never know, the duo (and Boston) may really benefit from a friendly rivalry.
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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer