By: Michael Weil — Correspondent
Rask retired, Marchand suspended, Bergeron out tonight, the Bruins will be playing their first game without a single active member from the 2011 Stanley Cup team on the roster tonight.
Marchand is out for six games after high-sticking the Penguins goalie. This is his second suspension of the season. It complicates things for the Bruins, who had all their forwards healthy coming out of the All-Star break.
Rask says that he had hoped to make a return this season to the starting goalie position, but things didn’t work out that way. “Over these last few weeks, I’ve realized that my body is not responding the way it needs to for me to play at the level I expect of myself and that my teammates and Bruins fans deserve. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from the game of hockey.”
“While I am sad to say goodbye to the game I love, I am so very thankful to have shared these last 15 years with the greatest teammates and fans in the best sports city in the world,” Rask added.
Rask had a career record of 306-163-66 in his appearances, including a Stanley Cup win.
The Bruins record is 26-15-3 through 44 games. The B’s are still in the middle of the pack of the Atlantic Division.
Senior Craig Blatte says the Bruins’ have had a fairly rough start of the season. “At the start of the year the Bruins were a perfectly average team, beating teams with a worse record but never seeming to find the magic against the better ones. This all changed with the switching of the forward pairings, as the perfection line (Marchand-Bergereon-Pastranak) was split up and Pasta moved down to the second line. It worked perfectly, Pastranak, who had a tragic offseason that may have played a role in his early struggles, found his footing and now has 14 goals in the last 15 games.”
Senior Adam Landstein says that the struggles with recent scoring is due to the Bruins relying too much on the power play. “The Bruins are all too dependent on their power play rather than 5 on 5 scoring. Depth scoring and even strength scoring is what gets teams far in the playoffs, and the Bruins will need more production if they want to make a deep run and climb the Atlantic Division standings.”
Blatte breaks down the scoring struggles very similarly to Landstein. Blatte says, the power play scoring is good, but the Bruins 5 on 5 production is far from efficient. “So long as the top two lines can continue to score, the Bruins should be able to keep pace with any team, although the big three have been known to go silent during the playoffs. Further as with what seems like the past 10 years, the Bruins special teams play is top in the league. They have above average power play scoring and penalty killing, but struggles in 5 on 5 play could limit their upside.”