With the Bruins virtually guaranteed of making the playoffs and being a top-three seed in the Eastern Conference, keeping Tim Thomas fresh for the postseason is important for Boston. That’ll be a bit tougher to do with Tuukka Rask injured.
Rask left this afternoon’s game against the Islanders in the second period after awkwardly going into the splits to make a save. After making the stop, Rask fell to his back tossing off his gear to get a whistle. Rask was helped off the ice by his teammates while not putting any pressure on his left leg. Rask had his left knee scoped over the summer. Thomas had today off as he was slated to get the start tomorrow afternoon against the Rangers on NBC (12:30 p.m. ET).
If Rask is hurt long-term, the Bruins have some health worries with their goalies in the AHL. The guy who would be first up, Anton Khudobin, is out with an upper-body injury and his backup, Michael Hutchinson, is out sick. That leaves ECHL call-ups Adam Courchaine and Karel St. Laurent as the healthy goalies in the minors.
With four more sets of back-to-back games, the Bruins will need a backup goalie they can count on to give Thomas the rest he’ll need to carry the Bruins in the playoffs. In other words,Thomas had better be ready for a little extra work should Rask be toast.
We’ll get an update on Rask’s status as soon as it’s available out of Boston.
Update: The Bruins are calling up Hutchinson to be Thomas’ backup for the time being. The Bruins will update Rask’s condition tomorrow. Rask will not be joining the Bruins on their two-game road trip.
Since losing to Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four, the Boston College Eagles have also lost a bunch of their best players.
Those who made the decision to turn pro include Alex Tuch (Wild), Adam Gilmour (Wild), Miles Wood (Devils), Steve Santini (Devils), and Hobey Baker finalist Thatcher Demko (Canucks).
The good news for B.C. is that Colin White probably won’t be part of the exodus. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, it “looks like” White will return for his sophomore season after scoring 43 points in 37 games as a freshman.
White, 19, was drafted 21st overall by the Ottawa Senators last summer. He said last month that turning pro had “definitely” crossed his mind, but then he also said, “Definitely, B.C. is a great place.”
Team Canada’s veteran lineup was too much for the young Americans to handle today in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the Canadians rolled to a convincing 5-1 victory as the preliminary round of the World Championship got underway.
The United States actually opened the scoring, on a first-period, power-play goal by Patrick Maroon. But Taylor Hall quickly tied it, and soon after that, Brendan Gallagher gave the Canadians the lead. Matt Duchene, Boone Jenner, and Brad Marchand added the insurance goals for Canada.
Keith Kinkaid was in goal for the Americans, Cam Talbot for the Canadians.
Auston Matthews logged 16:56 in ice time and registered three shots for Team USA, who play Belarus tomorrow.
The Canadians are off until Sunday, when they’ll take on Hungary.
The New York Rangers announced this morning that forward Oscar Lindberg has undergone a “successful simultaneous bilateral hip labral repair.”
That’s a long way of saying he had hip surgery.
The Rangers say the expected recovery time for Lindberg is six months, meaning the 24-year-old is likely to get a late start to next season.
In 2015-16, his first full season in the NHL, Lindberg had 13 goals and 15 assists in 68 games. However, he was a regular healthy scratch down the stretch.
“I thought Oscar was playing well,” head coach Alain Vigneault said in March. “But when Rick Nash came back, we had 13 healthy forwards. It’s just the way it slotted out.”
In the playoffs, Lindberg dressed for just two of the Rangers’ five contests (Games 4 and 5 versus Pittsburgh).
Related: Rangers sign Lindberg
Of all the available coaching gigs, Minnesota’s seems to be the most muddled right now — there’s still no word on the status of interim bench boss John Torchetti, and GM Chuck Fletcher has reached out to both Randy Carlyle and Bruce Boudreau.
Now, the Star-Tribune is reporting Fletcher has also contacted another pair of veteran coaches: Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher.
Crawford, fresh off a four-year stint in the Swiss League — where he coached coveted draft prospect Auston Matthews in Zurich — is gunning for an NHL return, and would even accept an assistant coaching position to get his foot back in the door.
Related: Marc Crawford coaching in Detroit? Hey, could happen…
Boucher, also coming off a stint in the Swiss League, wants back in the NHL as well. He was in the running for a pair of gigs last offseason — Toronto, which ultimately went to Mike Babcock, and New Jersey, which ultimately went to John Hynes.
An interesting wrinkle with the Wild’s coaching search? Per the Star-Tribune, it sounds like coaches might be asking as many questions of Fletcher as Fletcher is of the coaches. The longtime GM has come under fire recently for the club’s current roster makeup, which forced owner Craig Leipold to give Fletcher a public vote of confidence during the playoffs.