The AHL’s decision to postpone a weekend of P-Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley games at The Dunk completely blew up the Bruins’ plans to get Tuukka Rask up to speed.
It’s also left the Bruins without a concrete plan to get the 34-year-old Rask officially signed and back in action for Boston.
“No, I honestly don’t,” Bruins head coach Cassidy said when asked if he had an update on Rask’s situation following the postponements in Providence. “I’ve left that between [Don Sweeney] and Tuukka’s reps.”
That uncertainty is through no fault of either Rask or the Bruins, really, as the Rask timeline was completely thrown out of sorts with the weekend slate wiped off the board down in Providence. And if the sides have viewed AHL as a must before he jumps back into the mix at the game’s highest level, the Bruins will have to wait almost a full week to see where Rask’s game is at, as the P-Bruins will host games in Providence next Friday and Sunday. That’s a lot of sitting around.
It’s enough to make it more than possible that the Bruins view that extended wait as not worth it and instead throw Rask right into the fire of NHL action, as noted by Cassidy.
“Once he went to Providence I figured that he’d get his work in down there, we’d get back late Monday night and [on] Tuesday we’d huddle up and see if his timeline was still the same where it’d be playing for the Bruins later [that week],” Cassidy revealed. “We have three home games next week, and I assume that’s still the timeline, but he hasn’t had any live action.
“So that’ll be the one point of discussion. We just haven’t had that yet. Myself, I’ve been focused here, but we will have it.”
Once the Bruins wrap up their quick two-game road swing with Monday’s head-to-head against the Capitals, the Bruins will indeed return home for what will be a three-in-four stretch with home dates against the Canadiens, Flyers, and Predators.
If the Bruins are looking for a potential ‘easy’ NHL game to throw Rask back into the mix for his first game action since last June, that Wednesday head-to-head with the Canadiens may not be the worst idea. The Canadiens are averaging an NHL-worst 2.12 goals against per game and their 29.4 shots per game are tied for the ninth-fewest in the NHL.
Rask is coming off a 2021 campaign that included 15 wins and a .913 save percentage in 24 starts.