What a cool trip into the way-back machine for Boston Bruins fans with a time capsule article about the World Junior tourney showdown between Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak that went down exactly 16 years ago this week.
The current Boston Bruins tandem stopped a combined 45-of-46 shots in the eventual 2-0 loss for Team Finland that also featured an empty net goal for former Bruins D-man Andrej Meszaros clinching it for Team Czech Slovakia. The 2004 World Junior tournament was a perhaps not-so-memorable one at the Thief River Falls home for the University of North Dakota hockey team, but still it featured both members of the NHL’s best current goaltending tandem and 2020 Jennings Trophy winners.
Here’s the amazing, if-too-brief article from Grand Forks Herald college hockey writer Brad Schlossman, with some detail that hilariously includes Rask calling his teammates “lazy” in the shutout loss:
Dec. 28, 2004 @gfherald: Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask went head-to-head in front of almost nobody in Thief River Falls. They stopped a combined 45 of 46 shots. I sent in a story via phone line (pre-WiFi press boxes 😳) as evidenced by spacing issues not being fixed. pic.twitter.com/XCXgzdFsvO
— Brad Elliott Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) December 28, 2020
So, as you enjoy this year’s World Junior tournament taking place in Edmonton, remember it could eventually lead to some pretty cool stories in the Boston Bruins dressing room sometime down the line. Now on to the rest of the puck links:
*Interesting piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz, who discusses the current picture for the NHL with a leading infectious disease and vaccine expert. In a non-shocker, he believes the first few months are going to be “really tough.” (The Athletic)
*FOH Dan Kingerski puts it at a 70 percent chance that the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to miss the playoffs this year. And we thought we were negative about the Bruins chances? Whew. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*With the news that both Kirby Dach and now Jonathan Toews are going to miss significant time with health issues, the forecast for the Chicago Blackhawks isn’t very promising this season. (The Athletic)
*The hope in Ottawa is that Derek Stepan can rediscover his offense while with the Senators. Certainly, the Sens are making some gambles they’re ready to take a big leap this year. (TSN)
*A large contingent of Boston Bruins players led by Patrice Bergeron are skating daily at Warrior Ice Arena with training camp less than a week away. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Would the captaincy be too much of a burden for Mika Zibanejad with the New York Rangers for the next few seasons? Is the captaincy really that much of a burden? (New York Post)
*You haven’t lived until you’ve heard the 10 things that Auston Matthews can’t live without. Okay, maybe you’ll be okay either way because it’s not exactly anything you wouldn’t guess.
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) December 28, 2020
*For something completely different: One of the original Star Wars authors, Alan Dean Foster, says Kathleen Kennedy is terrible and that the Last Jedi sucked. Well, he’s not wrong. (Bleeding Fool)