Tuukka Rask posted two stellar one-goal against performances in consecutive outings before hitting the sideline, and hamstring and groin issues are reportedly keeping him on the shelf.
Tuukka Rask’s bout of general soreness turned into a lower-body injury, and after three consecutive games on the shelf, there could be some cause for concern after a report that the Boston Bruins’ No. 1 netminder is potentially dealing with injuries to both his hamstring and groin.
During an interview with CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, former TSN analyst Aaron Ward said that he was told Rask is dealing with the injury stemming from the Bruins’ opening night victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rask sat out the game following opening night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which was when the “general soreness” was first announced by Bruins coach Claude Julien.
“What I heard was that it was left leg, and that at first it was hamstring and then I was told it’s possibly hamstring and groin,” Ward told Haggerty. “You’re always concerned when you’re a goalie and it’s your legs, right? It’s the push-off.”
What’s surprising, though, is that Rask was able to come back after the initial injury in order to play a pair of outings, first against the Winnipeg Jets and then against the New Jersey Devils. Rask stopped 62 of 64 shots over the course of those two outings, picked up the win in both games and before he was sat down by the Bruins he was boasting a 1.67 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.
Ward said he believes the Bruins are simply trying to be cautious when it comes to Rask, though, in order to ensure he doesn’t further injure himself and wind up on the sideline longer than the Bruins could have expected.
However, it’s become evident that the Bruins will need Rask back in order to start piecing together a stretch of victories. Since Rask has gone down with injury — and with the three-week injury to backup Anton Khudobin following shortly thereafter — Boston hasn’t won a single game and has allowed 14 goals against in three games.
Subban got the call to start the first Rask and Khudobin-less game for Boston, but it was an ugly outing that saw him allow three goals on 16 shots over less than 31 minutes of work. After being pulled, McIntyre came in for cleanup duty and allowed two goals on 17 shots. McIntyre’s performance was enough to earn him a look in Wednesday’s game against the Rangers, but he allowed five goals on 31 shots in the loss.
So while the Bruins may not be pushing Rask for his return quite yet, a few more blowout losses and GM Don Sweeney might have to consider looking outside the organization for a stopgap in goal if Rask isn’t ready to go.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Get 10 issues of The Hockey News magazine for just $15.99!