By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Tuukka Rask was lights out in the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But what will he look like after a 10-day layoff between shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final and taking the ice for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues?
Head coach Bruce Cassidy admitted to Toucher & Rich on Wednesday that "it's always a concern" to think about your goalie staying sharp after an extended break. It's especially important for Rask, considering he's playing the best hockey of his career right now.
Rask is in the zone, much like a pitcher going for a no-hitter. So are the Bruins really treating him as such, giving him the silent treatment ahead of the Cup Final?
"I just saw him in there, Bergy's chatting with him over breakfast to be honest with you, so that's a bad rumor," joked Cassidy.
Some of Rask's teammates, like Torey Krug and Brad Marchand, admitted that they have avoided messing too much with Rask while he's on such a roll. But it's apparently not part of some bigger team-wide operation.
Cassidy does understand if there's a level of worry for Rask's ability to stay at an extremely high level with such a long break between games. But Rask isn't overthinking things or changing his approach, from what Cassidy has seen.
"He doesn't seem any different to me. He’s kind of going about his routine," Cassidy said. "Got upset in practice the other day, someone bumped into him - that’s pretty typical, goalies don’t like that - and then just went back in and stopped the puck again. So I don’t see a big difference.
"Listen, he was on fire and hopefully he stays on fire going into the finals. I don’t see any reason why he won’t. But that’s always a concern coming out of that long break."
Only time will tell whether Rask is the same player in the final round that he's been through the first three. If he looks like he's ready to finish off that no-hitter, the Bruins have a great chance of hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].