Tuukka Rask was in line to start the Boston Bruins’ playoff opener vs. the Philadelphia Flyers. Now, he won’t even dress.
Jaroslav Halak will start the Bruins’ first round-robin game vs. Philly on Sunday afternoon in Toronto, Bruce Cassidy announced. Rask wasn’t feeling well Sunday and missed practice Saturday and apparently wasn’t good enough to go in the opener.
Rask won’t even dress Sunday, and Dan Vladar will serve as the team’s backup goalie. However, Cassidy was hopeful Rask would be able to practice with the team Monday, indicating the Vezina Trophy finalist was feeling better than the day before.
The Bruins certainly will feel more than all right with Halak in net. The 34-year-old had another terrific season as Rask’s understudy, winning 18 of his 31 starts (with six of his 12 losses coming in overtime or the shootout) with a .919 save percentage. Halak, however, lost both of his starts vs. the Flyers this season. One of those came in the shootout, with Halak stopping 27 of the 29 shots he faced. The second, also in the shootout, was a much worse showing with Halak allowing five goals on the road in a Jan. 13 loss.
Of course, the Bruins would like to come out of the round-robin with momentum and the Eastern Conference’s top seed, but they ultimately make the playoffs regardless, so they are afforded the luxury of taking it slow with players.