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Boston Bruins Shut Down Rask For Rest Of Week



NHL News

BRIGHTON, MA – There was no sign of Tuukka Rask with the Boston Bruins when the team reconvened practice after the NHL All-Star break to get ready for the second half of the season. The 34-year-old goaltender was shut down in the final days leading up to All-Star weekend with a lower body issue and now won’t be practicing at all this week as the hockey club is moving forward with rookie Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark for the time being.

Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy vaguely alluded to physical issues with a goalie in Rask that’s definitely middle-aged in terms of his NHL playing age and said there might be more news at some point next week.

“He’s not on the ice today. He won’t be practicing this week, so we’ll update at the end of the week or early next week,” said Cassidy. “That’s where he’s at right now. We’ll see where it goes from there. He’s kind of fighting through some medical issues, I guess, or body issues for his age with the comeback. So we’ll see how it turns out.”

Rask has obviously struggled since coming back with a 2-2-0 record along with a 4.28 goals against average and .844 save percentage, and informed the Bruins he was having some kind of physical discomfort after a rough loss to the Ducks where he gave up five goals on 27 shots. There were chants of “We Want Swayman” in the Garden that night during a rough outing all-around for the winningest goaltender in Boston Bruins franchise history.

It remains to be seen what the next move might be for Rask, but an AHL conditioning assignment would make a lot of sense if/when he comes back given that he hasn’t played or practice in almost two weeks at this point.

Instead, the Boston Bruins will have Swayman start on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins after he played a tune-up game (stopping 26-of-27 shots in a 2-1 overtime win over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins) for the Providence Bruins last weekend and Ullmark is expected to start on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

In other health news, Urho Vaakanainen (upper body) is still out after being on the receiving end of a nasty boarding hit from Yanni Gourde that left him with some facial injuries and what’s suspected to be a concussion. Both Trent Frederic and Nick Foligno were full practice participants on Monday with the rest of a full Boston Bruins group and should be lineup options for the Black and Gold against the Penguins provided they made it healthy through practice.

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