Rough Return from the All-Star Break By Shaun Petipas
Image Via Boston Herald
The Boston Bruins returned to action against the Pittsburgh Penguins following the all-star break. The Bruins appeared to have enjoyed their time off coming out hot scoring two goals in the first period taking the 2-0 lead. Both goals scored by David Pastrnak coming off of a Taylor Hall assist. After the first period it was all downhill from there. Pittsburgh went on to score three unanswered goals to bury the Bruins 3-2. Tuukka Rask had rumors come out mid-game that his comeback wasn’t going to continue, Patrice Bergeron leaves the game due to a head injury and Brad Marchand causes chaos punching and high sticking Penguin’s goaltender in the face.
Marchand had been able to keep his cool for the most part this season with one suspension coming earlier in the season due to a slew foot, but it seemed he might’ve finally found the cooler part of his game. That prediction ended up being wrong as Marchand was agitated with Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry at the end of the second period as Jarry tried to flip the puck over the glass to a Penguins fan. Marchand skated by, slashed the puck off his stick and threw it across the ice. Following that towards the end of the game in a net-front scrum it looked like some jawing going on. Jarry must’ve said something to Marchand because he lost his cool and threw a punch right to Jarry’s head. Jarry sold it and went down like a bag of potatoes but one has to think, what is Marchand doing? Then as a hockey scrum continues Marchand skated towards Jarry and clipped Jarry’s mask with his stick. The ref was escorting Marchand to the penalty box just for two minutes until he pulled this stunt and then he got a match penalty. With the match penalty he gets reviewed by player safety and they came out yesterday with his punishment. He received a six-game suspension without pay so the total amount of money he is missing out on is $448,170. Marchand has to allow cooler heads to prevail here as he only hurt his team in this game and the six to come without him.
After the rumors that he wasn’t going to continue his comeback Rask addressed the news with a statement himself yesterday. He announced on social media that after 15 seasons he has decided to call it quits. He thanked the fans and all of the Bruins organization in the lengthy retirement statement that you can find on the Bruins twitter or Instagram pages. Rask retires as the most winningest goaltender in Bruins history and after playing 564 games he has played in the most games as well. The Vezina winner got a lot of flak from radio and bruins fans in the area but one stat that might truly show how great of a goaltender his was in a stat called Goals Saved Above Expected (from 07-22). Leading that list is future hall of famer Carey Price with a 118.4 GSAx and right behind him is Rask with a 106.8 GSAx. Other notable names behind Rask on this list are Roberto Luongo (95.5 GSAx), Henrik Lundqvist (90.7 GSAx) and Tim Thomas (85.3 GSAx). Fans should appreciate what Rask has brought to the net for the B’s for the past 15 seasons and that is stability. Without Rask who know where the Bruins would’ve been, but one thing will always haunt him and that is the Stanley Cup run of 2019. Rask played out of his mind and was just about to be handed the Conn Smyth if the entire Bruins team didn’t puke all over themselves on home ice in game 7. (No, I will never get over it)
The Bruins captain left the game after falling awkwardly into the boards after a collision with Sidney Crosby. Bergeron’s head slammed against the boards thus leaving him in the ice in pain. He left the game with help from B’s trainer and is already ruled out of the next game for the black and gold. Head coach Bruce Cassidy knows Bergeron has a sketchy history with concussions, so they have to be extremely careful with his return.
“It’s involving his head, so we want to be careful. Hopefully he’s in good shape in the next few days. We’re gonna take as much time as we need with this one.”
The Bruins will face the powerhouse Hurricanes in their next game without their two top players, a large obstacle to overcome for Pastrnak, Hall and the rest of the team.