The Boston Bruins went into their bye week on anything but a high note, falling to the New York Rangers by a 3-2 final, and losing starting goaltender Tuukka Rask to a concussion in the process.
"He’s concussed, that’s all I know, so he’ll go into protocol," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after Saturday's defeat. "The best-case scenario for those is usually the next day if he’s doing well. Then he’s up and running and it shouldn’t be too badly affected by it other than the immediate, today’s kind of pain and symptoms.
"If he’s not, then it’s one of those where you just keep your fingers crossed and hope it settles itself out quickly."
Filip Chytil collides with Tuukka Rask in the crease.
Rask leaves the game. pic.twitter.com/DusVYsokqm
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 20, 2019
Knocked out of the game on a collision with the Rangers' Filip Chytil, the B's coach didn't sense anything malicious on the part of Chytil, while Charlie McAvoy termed the contact 'unavoidable.'
"It looked like unavoidable contact, obviously Tuukka took the brunt of that," McAvoy said. "There’s no way for him to prepare he’s doing his job he’s trying to fo cus on the puck and the culmination of that play is just unfortunate."
Of course, it was McAvoy that seemingly 'helped' guide Chytil into Rask in an attempt to deny the Ranger forward a scoring chance. But the Black and Gold are not faulting McAvoy for anything involving Rask's situation.
"He obviously didn’t mean to [guide Chytil into Rask]," said Brad Marchand. "He’s coming back hard to try and kill a play and when things are going at that speed you can’t anticipate what’s going to happen so, you know, stuff like that happens. By no means is it Chuck’s fault. Plays happen like that in the game of hockey. But we’re all very concerned about [Rask] and thinking about him and hope he’s feeling better here soon."
With Rask out, the Bruins were forced to turn to Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 11-of-13 in relief, and could be forced to turn back to Halak as the team's starter should Rask remain on the shelf. But the good news on that front, at least logistically, is that the Bruins are in the midst of their bye week, which bleeds into the All-Star break, giving Rask plenty of time off.
"I don’t want this to come out of context, but the timing is probably the best it’s ever going to be, right?" Cassidy said. "If you’re going to have this injury because you do have nine days before you play again, so for any player. But there is no good timing, having said that, because who knows how it’ll play out for him. So, it’ s unfortunate.
"We’ve been healthy at the goaltender position. That’s the one position we’ve avoided any serious injury. We’ve been hurt at every other position, so it looks like it’s going to be one of those years where we’re going to be tested at every position."
Rask has a 14-8-3 record and .919 save percentage on the year.