Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is in the midst of a historic playoff run already with a record of 12-5 with a 1.84 GAA and .942 save percentage through 16 games of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is a Conn Smythe Trophy candidate and is one of the main reasons the Bruins are headed to the Stanley Cup Final. Rask is in a 2011 Tim Thomas like zone and with the Bruins in the midst of an eleven-day layoff as they await either the St. Louis Blues or the San Jose Sharks to play in the final, Rask may be the loneliest guy on the Bruins. As many teams do when they see that determined look in their goalie’s eyes, Rask’s teammates have done their best to let him be and not disrupt anything that might make the Finnish netminder come back to earth.
“We leave him alone. You leave him be. You don’t get into his head at all and you let him do his thing. Whatever he wants to do, you let him do it,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand told Joe Haggerty of NBCSports Boston. “But he’s a pro. He’s been around for a long time so he knows how to prepare himself and stay sharp. We have to do the same thing in the room.”
“I don’t even talk to the guy right now,” Bruins defenseman Torey Krug told Haggerty. “I’ll try to ignore him and I’m sure he’s trying to ignore me. I’d say that’s probably a common theme in this locker room. From Day One of the playoffs, he’s had a routine and he’s had that look in his eye. I think most guys fall in that category of just letting him do his thing and kind of tip-toeing around him. [You just want to] stay out of the way of his routine.”
As for Rask and what he will do with all this alone time and during this layoff?
“It’s only as big of a challenge I guess that you make it for yourself,” Rask told the media Monday. “I just practice when we practice and then take time off when there’s days off. I think that’s it. I don’t think about hockey every day, all day. I don’t think that’s gonna do any good. I just stay sharp on the ice, do the work you need to do and then play when the puck drops. That’s about it.”