A source close to the situation has told Boston Hockey Now that if Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask decides to ever reveal the reasons why he decided to opt-out of the NHL bubble and the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs hours before Game 3 Saturday, ‘There will be lots of crow eating’.
As I mentioned in a segment on Fox 25 Boston News Sunday night (below), despite the odd comments by Rask following a 3-2 Bruins loss in Game 2 last Thursday, there is more.
“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.”
This decision to head home to be with his family wasn’t simply Rask being “disinterested” in playing right now but rather a sudden situation that developed and made Rask realize that his family needed him back immediately. Rask decided that not only was it better for him to head home but also better for his teammates because if his head isn’t fully in the game, he would be a detriment to the team.
The shared feeling between the team and Rask was that it would better for the Bruins to have Jaro Halak take over as the team’s starting goalie going forward.
To a person, the Bruins have expressed 100% support for Rask.
“We understand completely where Tuukka is coming from,” General Manager Don Sweeney said in a Zoom call with the media on Saturday morning. “I don’t think it’s any big surprise to us, to be honest with you. We’re privy to information maybe before the rest of the public is, and this has been a difficult decision for Tuukka, but the Boston Bruins are in full support of why he made this decision.”
Bruins alternate captain Patrice Bergeron expressed the same sentiment following the Bruins’ 3-1 win in Game 3 in which Halak made 29 saves.
“Obviously we’re supporting him,” Bergeron said following the game. “We’re behind him and we understand. Family comes first. We’ve always said that. Obviously, we’re a tight group in this locker room. We’ve been together for a while and supporting each other. Obviously, we’re thinking about him and we’re supporting that decision.
And like you said, this locker room, we’re – doesn’t matter who is being asked to step up, it seems like guys come in and do that every time … it’s not an easy task and (Halak) comes in and gives us a chance to win. He makes some huge saves, especially early on to keep us in the game. And I’m talking about him, but obviously the other guys that came in and played great for us.”
Rask is yet to comment publicly other than a statement made through the Bruins Twitter handle.
Again, the source urged that media and fans “stop blasting Rask because they will be eating crow if the truth comes out.”