UPDATE: Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Tuukka Rask will start again in goal for the Bruins in Game 2 against the Hurricanes.
By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
An already quick turnaround between Game 1 and 2 of the first-round series between the Bruins and Hurricanes got even even quicker by way of a double-overtime affair on Wednesday.
With Game 1 delayed 15 hours thanks to Tuesday’s five-overtime marathon between the Blue Jackets and Lightning, and the aforementioned extra frames on Wednesday, the Bruins and Hurricanes have about 28 hours between contests.
That could be awfully difficult on both the B’s Tuukka Rask and Carolina’s Petr Mrazek. And with the potential to play six games in nine days a very real possibility should this series play out as tight as Wednesday did, there’s a good chance that you’re going to see the 1B netminder for each team get into play at some point.
But Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t ready to name his Game 2 starter in the immediate aftermath of Game 1.
“We’ll talk about tomorrow, tonight,” Cassidy said after the victory. “We’ll let everyone enjoy this one.”
Rask’s afternoon wasn’t exactly brutal, with just 28 shots thrown on goal, and with only seven landing on net in the 21 minutes and change of do-or-die overtime hockey. It was pretty much the easiest night you could get in such a setting, with the Hurricanes held to single-digit shot totals in all but one of their four 20-minute periods in this contest.
And that may be just one of many factors that lead to Rask getting the net two days in a row for just the second time in Cassidy’s tenure, and ‘by design’ for the first time since Cassidy took over for Claude Julien in Feb. 2017.
“The one thing about today’s game, there wasn’t a lot of taxing stretches in our own end where goalies will fatigue and dehydrate; penalty kill was pretty solid in that regard, we didn’t get stuck a lot in our end,” Cassidy acknowledged. “That is a big factor on the recovery of Tuukka. An  o’clock start. Don’t forget, a lot of the back-to-back games, specifically with us – well, everybody – is you’re traveling. You’re getting a poor nights sleep and an early morning. Those won’t be the case in this particular back-to-back.
“Everyone should sleep well tonight, get some rest. So there is that consideration too. So you have two things that can tilt towards Tuukka getting a back-to-back start. I’m not saying that is going to happen, because the conversation needs to be had with him and goalie [coach] Bob [Essensa].”
That said, nothing is off the table for Cassidy’s squad in search of a 2-0 series edge.
“If we feel Jaro [Jaroslav Halak] gives us the best chance to win, we’ll certainly go that route,” said Cassidy. “[Rask’s] game tonight was fine. I thought the first goal was a bomb that just squeaked through, we had a breakdown. The last one is obviously one when you have a lead. But obviously something happened there, a flash screen, because he’s going to stop that one. There is a bit of a breakdown where we didn’t get the block. At the end of the day, there wasn’t a whole lot of grade A’s.
“Certainly, Mrazek was the busier guy with high-end stops, but that doesn’t mean Tuukka didn’t play well.”
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.