Everybody knows that Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask is playing at less than 100 percent.
And that level apparently dipped below the threshold to keep Rask in the Boston net Monday night, which was confirmed by Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy’s decision to lift Rask after two periods of play in a Game 5 loss at TD Garden.
“There was some maintenance that needed to be done [and] he wasn’t 100 percent, so we made a decision,” Cassidy said of the decision to lift Rask after two periods of play. “That’s the call we had to make between periods.
“I’ll just say he wasn’t himself 100 percent. Certainly could’ve went back in. We made a decision not to put him back in.”
In goal for four goals on 16 shots, there was a moment where Rask definitely looked like he was laboring, with a hunched and slower-than-usual stride back to the B’s bench during a TV timeout in the second period. Rask’s inability to get through this game also came the same day where the Bruins opted to keep Rask out of the team’s morning skate, which fueled rampant speculation that the 34-year-old would not be ready for tonight’s contest.
Rask’s exit also paved the way for Jeremy Swayman’s first career postseason action, and though Swayman stopped Jordan Eberle on a breakaway on his first shot of the evening, Swayman took the loss behind a two-of-three performance in net.
Asked about Rask’s availability moving forward, Cassidy noted that he “assumes” Rask will be ready for a must-win Game 6 on Long Island.
Rask is 6-3 with a .925 save percentage in 10 games this postseason.
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.