It’s ‘highly unlikely’ Tuukka Rask will get back in net this week
The Bruins are expected to be without Tuukka Rask through the All-Star break, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed.
“Tuukka hasn’t even practiced, so, you know, it is highly unlikely we’ll see him until after the break,” Cassidy said following his team’s defeat in Dallas. “[Jeremy] Swayman and [Linus] Ullmark will be the guys for Tuesday. Then we’re off.”
Now, the good news within that statement is that the pre-All-Star break slate for the Bruins is just one game, and that’s Tuesday night at home against the Kraken. The Kraken aren’t exactly world beaters, either, with just 14 wins through 44 games this season, so the Bruins should be comfortable with either option put out there in place of Rask.
But the downer is that the 34-year-old Rask has not played since a 22-of-27 loss to the Ducks back on Jan. 24, and is just four games into an attempted comeback from offseason hip surgery. The results have been feast or famine for Rask, too, who has won two of his four decisions to date, but has posted an .844 save percentage and 4.28 goals against average along the way.
Speaking last weekend, Cassidy said that Rask’s injury is one that the goalie expected to get better by the week’s end. But ultimately that was not the case, and Rask didn’t progress to the point where he could have suited up for either of the team’s weekend games against the Coyotes or Stars, or even practice with the team.
That means, barring some sort of last-second turnaround and as noted by Cassidy, that it’ll be at least one more game of the Swayman-Ullmark tandem, which split the crease in a 6-1 loss to the Stars on Sunday.
Ullmark received the hook after he surrendered four goals on 15 shots in almost 28 minutes of work, while Swayman’s first NHL action since Jan. 6 saw him punched for two goals on 14 shots in relief.
“We didn’t do enough in front of [Ullmark],” said Cassidy. “I mean, [pulling him] was a little more of, ‘OK, we’ll get him out of there.’ He’s done some good work for us. We weren’t playing great, so get Swayman some work back at the NHL level.”
The Bruins will announce their Tuesday night starter shortly after a scheduled morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena.
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.