It’s been over two months since Tuukka Rask sustained what just about everybody believes to be a significant back injury.
And while he did his best to play through the ailment, it ultimately wasn’t enough when it got to the deep end of the second round. But even with the Bruins officially bounced from the postseason, the 34-year-old Rask opted not to get into the specifics of his injury and limitations when speaking with reporters late Wednesday night.
“I don’t want to get into that right now,” Rask said following the 23-save loss. “We’re going release the injury report in a couple of days. We’re going to have our exit meetings [and] we can talk about it then. I promise I’ll give you a full lowdown then.
“I don’t think that needs to be the headline now.”
That was almost all you got out of Rask when it came to his injury. Both Rask and Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy acknowledged that offseason surgery is a possibility for the pending free agent, but that was about it.
“He was healthy enough to play,” Cassidy said. “Just wasn’t 100 percent. I can’t answer whether he was 95 or 92 [percent] or whatever. I mean, we talked to him on a daily basis. He was ready to go. We’ve been very upfront with him. We gave him time to heal in the middle of the year and we would have given him time to heal from game-to-game in the playoffs if that was necessary. So the communication, I thought, was excellent.
“He’s our starting goalie and he told us he was ready to go and that’s that. So that’s where it’s at.”
That readiness seemed to take a dip in Games 5 and 6, however, with Rask’s movement looking off, and he was unable to physically will an undermanned Boston squad to victory like he did in Game 3.
“As you battle, you’re trying to maintain your health as good as possible and take those days off and do treatment and whatnot,” Rask admitted. “But you play every other day and as you go it gets more physical. It obviously doesn’t get easier. But all the training staff did a great job keep me out there playing. And, you know, we tried our best.”
And Rask wasn’t using his health as an excuse following a game where he felt he could’ve been better to keep his team in it.
“I could have made a couple more saves, definitely. I should have made a few of those saves [to] keep it tighter,” Rask admitted. “But, you know, I didn’t do it today and the season ended, so it’s disappointing. But I battled, I tried, and just fell short.”
Bruins Postgame Podcast: What Went Wrong?
Well, that sucked. The Bruins’ season is over after losing 6-2 to the New York Islanders in Game 6, and Matt Dolloff and Ty Anderson of 98.5 The Sports Hub are here to break it all down in their final Bruins postgame podcast of 2020-21.
Among the topics discussed: a near-total no-show for the Bruins, outside of a pair of goals by Brad Marchand; Boston’s continued lack of size and depth on defense killing them in the end; a lack of finish and reliability in the forward group; Tuukka Rask’s bad performance and whether it’s the final game of his career; and the kinds of changes that the Bruins need to make on the roster in what will be a huge offseason.
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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.