By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Tuukka Rask may have thrown a bomb at the ‘intensity’ of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy knows his goaltender. He’d like to think that the media covering the 33-year-old understands his approach by now, too.
“I didn’t speak to him after his comments,” Cassidy admitted during his Friday chat with the media. “Tuukka, I think the Boston media knows him well enough. He answers his questions how he feels.”
That said, Cassidy does fall more in line with Brad Marchand’s thinking with this postseason in the bubble.
“It’s a unique environment, but to me there’s a playoff intensity on the ice,” said Cassidy. “You just have to sort of control what you can control when you’re a player. The way I look at it, at the end of the day, they’re going to hand out the Stanley Cup this year to someone. We’ve got to play our best hockey if we want to be that team. That was our goal at the start the year.
“We didn’t anticipate it’d end up an environment like this but here it is. So, you play the hand you’re dealt, you prepare yourself, for Game 3 to play our best hockey game and that’s what my focus is on right now. Plain and simple. That’s what we’re going to do [Friday] and puck-drop tomorrow at noon: put our best foot forward.”
And Rask’s comments aren’t going to lead to a change in net, as Cassidy noted that he ‘anticipates’ Rask getting the net for Saturday’s Game 3 against the Hurricanes.
“I think his game can grow like all of our games,” Cassidy said of Rask, who stopped 23-of-26 in a one-goal loss on Thursday. “Goaltending positions are probably a tougher one with that long a layoff to get yourself up to speed, not a lot of room for error, so I do understand that with all the goalies coming back in that situation. He’s no different. We know he can play better and hopefully we’ll be better in front of him and he will give us the extra save and it’ll work in our favor.”
Rask is 1-3-0 with a .904 save percentage this postseason, and has stopped 48-of-54 shots through the first two games of this first-round showdown with Carolina.
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.