Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask didn’t want to talk about his injury in the immediate aftermath of the B’s season-ending loss to the Islanders on Wednesday night. To Rask, it wasn’t the time nor the place, and he instead circled break-up day as the date of the “full lowdown” of what he battled through throughout the second half of the 2021 postseason.
And that came today.
“I have a torn labrum in my hip,” Rask said Friday. “I’m going to [have] surgery. I just don’t know what the exact date is, probably within a month. I’ll start the recovery process and then we’ll see what the future holds after that. Hopefully the recovery goes well and I’ll be ready to play hockey at some point next year.”
Rask believes that he actually suffered the injury against the Hurricanes in the Toronto bubble in 2020, and that it got worse as the 2021 season went on. Rask said that at one point his back ‘seized up’ while trying to overcompensate for the injury, and that he couldn’t walk for a week during the worst of it during his in-season absence.
“To battle through what [Rask] went through, it speak volumes,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand said. “Those are things you don’t see behind the scenes. The respect they gain amongst their group is astronomical when you’re willing to put yourself through pain to compete for the team. Unfortunate we weren’t able to do it for him.”
A pending free agent, the 34-year-old noted that he wants to play hockey next season, and that his recovery from surgery will keep him out until January or February 2022. And he once again made it clear that it’s Boston or nowhere.
“Like I’ve said before, I’m not going to play for anybody else but the Bruins,” Rask admitted. “This is our home. We have three kids, kid enjoy it here, they have friends in school and we have friends here. I don’t see any reason to go anywhere else. Especially with the health I’m looking at with a recovery of five to six months.”
The Bruins will have more than enough cap space to keep Rask around for 2021-22 and beyond if they so choose, but Rask’s timeline could put the Bruins in a situation where they’re looking for a veteran backup this summer, as a Rask injury would set the Bruins up to begin next season with a Jeremy Swayman and Daniel Vladar tandem.
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.