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Fresh Links: Hiatus Edition

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Most of the league is on hiatus, but not Patrice Bergeron and the NHL All-Stars.

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All-Stars Zdeno Chara and Pavel Datsyuk pause to catch up on each others' news.
All-Stars Zdeno Chara and Pavel Datsyuk pause to catch up on each others' news.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Happy All-Star Break!

  • The Bruins have closed the first half of their season on an upward trend. That's a good thing, as the road ahead will be challenging. [BostonHerald]
  • Thre are a lot of factors to explain the team's recent turnaround. [ESPN]
  • Going into the break, here are seven observations, including what influences Tuukka Rask 's workload, upcoming free agency, and which player's continued health will be critical to future success. [MetroWestDailyNews]
  • Rask looking more like himself lately has been an important factor in his team's upswing. [TheBostonGlobe]
  • Pierre McGuire is a big Dougie Hamilton fan, and wouldn't be surprised to see him in Norris Trophy contention. (Audio, 10:30) [WEEI]
  • Hard to believe, but yes, this is Patrice Bergeron 's first All-Star Game. His teammates couldn't be happier for him. [Bruins.NHL]
  • Enjoy a look back at some Skills Competition moments from years past, including Tim Thomas racing in full goalie gear, Zdeno Chara 's slap shot, and Ray Bourque 's sniper skill. Do watch until the end of the Bourque segment to see what other former Bruin also aced this test. (With video) [BruinsDaily]

Elsewhere around the rink (mostly from Columbus:)

  • Have a look at this breakdown of embellishment penalties, by team, division, and conference. Surprisingly, only three players have merited league fines thus far. [HockeyBuzz]
  • This look at Go-Pro helmet camera technology features Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask in action, along with other NHLers. The picture quality and fast pace of the action are surprising! (Video, 3:22) [NHL]
  • Team Orr beat Team Cherry in the Top Prospects game. (Video, 1:08) [NHL]
  • Injuries have been a factor in a lot of NHL rosters, and the All-Star Game is no exception, hence this "Injury Ninja All-Star Team" roster. [TheHockeyProgram]
  • Larceny! These Canadian thieves walked out with a fortune in hockey sticks in under four minutes. [NationalPost]
  • Our friends at Blueshirt Banter posted this handy informational overview on the All-Star Draft, including the rules, schedule, and viewing access. [BlueshirtBanter]
  • In Columbus this weekend, you can enjoy a $2 thrill by riding down a snow chute on an inner tube. (With video) [PuckDaddy]
  • Enjoy this interview with the Finnish ambassador to the United States, her Excellency Ritva Koukke-Ronde, who shows off her Rask sweater and talks hockey. [PuckBuddys]
  • Old-school, net front grappling, shot-blocking defensemen may not be doing their netminders any favors. Here's why. [EyeOnHockey]
  • Sticktaps to songbird Barbara Mandrell, whose generous, early, and strong support of youth hockey in Nashville is now paying big dividends. [TheTenneseean]
  • Rask is likely very sorry to have missed this event. The Sharks honored metal band Metallica and sold custom jerseys, all to benefit the Sierra Club. [TheHockeyNews]