Tuukka Rask shocked the hockey world on Saturday morning, as he officially opted out of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Rask started the first two games of the Boston Bruins First Round series against the Carolina Hurricanes. Rask posted a 1-1 record in those two starts.
Jaroslav Halak will take over as the team’s starting goaltender for the duration of their playoff run.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 15, 2020
On Thursday, Rask sent warning signals with his postgame comments after Game 2. The veteran goaltender lamented the atmosphere, noting how the games felt more like preseason contests.
“Well to be honest with you, it doesn’t really feel like playoff hockey out there,” Rask said Thursday. “There’s no fans, so it’s [like] an exhibition game. … It’s definitely not a playoff atmosphere out there.”
Tuukka Rask also admitted that he wasn’t yet in prime shape and that he was just trying to “have fun” and “see what happens” while playing.
“Considering I had four months off … I’m not in prime shape. But I’m trying to get there,” Rask said when asked if maybe he isn’t where he needs to be, physically. “I’m just trying to have fun and play the game. I’m not stressing too much about the results and whatnot. You know, it’s August and I haven’t played hockey. So just go out there and have fun, and see what happens for me.”
Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney spoke to the media before Game 3. Boston Hockey Now will have full reaction following his comments regarding Rask’s decision to opt-out.