By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask is putting rest and relaxation above the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, as the 32-year-old netminder confirmed that he will skip this year's festivities in St. Louis.
"It’s a great honor to be chosen, obviously, and these decisions are tough," Rask, who was named an All-Star for the second time in his career, began. "For me, I had to be kind of selfish thinking how much hockey we played last year, the short summer, and thinking about playing until June again."
For Rask, the real factor certainly seems to be real, as the 32-year-old has played in 97 games since the start of last year, and has played in 51 contests since the start of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins have also done their part to manage Rask's workload, as he's split duties with Jaroslav Halak relatively evenly through the first half of the season, with Rask starting 27 contests while Halak has managed 19 starts in the Boston crease.
The All-Star Game also came at a bad time for the B's, as it's smack dab in the middle of their bye week, which didn't help Rask's desire to make some time for himself to recharge for the stretch run.
"[With] this game falling right in the middle of our bye week, [I] wouldn’t be able to do anything with the family," said Rask. "It was kind of a selfish decision to spend time with the family and go away and get your mind and body rejuvenated and be ready for the last couple, busy months of the season.”
But his opt-out will come with a penalty, as the NHL will suspend Rask for skipping the event, and with No. 40 expected to serve the suspension upon the B's return from their bye week and All-Star weekend.
“They were fine with it," Rask said when asked for the B's reaction to his decision. "I gave them a heads up. I talked to [goalie coach Bob Essensa] even way before the break if there’s a possibility that I’m going [to the All-Star Game] that it may be more beneficial for me to sit somewhere else and take the break. They were supportive, very supportive.”
Rask, who will not start Monday's game against the Flyers, is 17-4-6 with a .925 save percentage this season.