Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask opts out of NHL’s return to play

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 8/15/20

You could tell Tuukka Rask wasn’t himself from the moment exhibition games began in the NHL’s Toronto bubble.

The Boston Bruins goaltender has decided to opt out of the NHL’s return to play, the club announced ahead of Saturday’s Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes. 

His decision to opt out comes after comments he made following Thursday’s Game 2 defeat. Rask stated that it didn’t really feel like the Stanley Cup Playoffs and that he was just trying to have fun and wasn’t focusing on the results. 

Through two games against the Hurricanes, Rask gave up many rebounds and couldn’t seem to control the puck. In four games in the NHL’s bubble, the 33-year-old went 1-3-0 with a 2.57 goals-against average and .904 save percentage, which isn’t up to par for the Vezina-nominated netminder. 

Now Boston will turn to Jaroslav Halak, who is just as capable of stealing games for the Bruins as Rask. Halak, who went 18-6-6 during the regular season, also has some pretty solid playoff numbers. The 35-year-old has a 2.45 GAA and .922 SV% through the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his career. 

It’s likely that AHL goaltender Dan Vladar backs up Halak for the remainder of the playoffs, and the B’s appear to have been ready for this situation. 

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