NHL players tend to get injured during playoffs, but what Tuukka Rask played during the playoffs round at the Bruins is absurd.
As Rusk confirmed to reporters during exit interviews Friday morning, he dealt with a tear in his hip during the playoffs. He will need surgery to fix the problem.
Rusk said, “I have a tear in my hip. I’m going to have surgery.” Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston. “I just don’t know the exact date, maybe in a month. I will start the recovery process and then we will see what the future holds next. I hope the recovery goes well and I will be ready to play hockey sometime next year.”
It was evident during the last two games of the Bruins vs. Islanders that Rask wasn’t quite the same. He played only two spells against New York in Game Five, conceding four goals on 16 shots, before being knocked out. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Raske had “some maintenance to do” during the latter part of the game.
In Game 6, Raske saved 23 out of 27 shots but didn’t appear at 100%. He wasn’t moving like he used to in the series. After eliminating the Bruins, Cassidy hinted that Rask needed surgery.
Now, we know why. Rask’s ability to stay on the ice with a tattered intensity in his hip was impressive. However, playing through the injury could cost him some playing time next season.
Rusk said he wants to play in Boston again next year, but won’t be able to return until January at the earliest.
“I want (I want to play next year),” Rusk said. “Mentally, I’m ready for it.” “Physical aspect, I hope it all goes well. We’ll probably look at a comeback in January or February for hockey. That’s kind of the plan, and hopefully it works.”
Sure, if Boston wants Raske (a free agent) back, putting him out to start the season isn’t ideal.
A question arises from this as well; Did Boston really have to start Rask at less than 100 percent?
Bruins have a wealth of goalkeeper talents. Backup, Jeremy Swayman, scored a 7-3-0 record, 0.945 savings and 1.50 goals-to-average in 10 regular season starts. Veteran Jaroslav Halek (9-6-4 log, 905 SV ratio, 2.53 GAA) was also available.
Starting with any of the Rask would certainly have been risky. Swayman is an inexperienced rookie and he conceded a goal on three shots against the Islanders against Raske during Game Five. Hullack struggled at the end of the season after dropping out of the COVID roster and saw Swayman beat him in the depth chart.
But they both had one advantage over your head: they were supposed to be healthy.