Tuukka Rask Opt-Out: What Bruins Players Said About Goalie’s Decision


Aug 15, 2020

Tuukka Rask’s teammates have his back 100 percent.

The Bruins goalie opted out of the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday ahead of Boston’s eventual Game 3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

General manager Don Sweeney made it clear the team supported Rask, and a slew of his teammates made that clear after the win, as well.

“Obviously we’re supporting him,” Patrice Bergeron told reporters during his Zoom postgame press conference. “We’re behind him. 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. (Jaroslav) Halak, it’s not an easy task and 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.”

More Bruins: Everything Bruce Cassidy Had To Say About Tuukka Rask Opting Out

Charlie Coyle echoed those sentiments: “We all want Tuukks here, but we all want what’s best for his family. We respect it. Tuukks is such a huge part of this team. He is. We all know that. He has been for a long time. But we respect it. That’s how it is. That’s what’s done. From then on, we have to move forward and I guess (Zdeno Chara) kind of touched on, we have to come together, band together and everybody has a little more responsibility on their shoulders – but we’re capable of that. But yeah, Tuukks is a hard guy to replace, he’s our goalie, but as he said again, we have full confidence in Jaro and the other two that we have here as well. We just have to take more responsibility on each other, but that is something we can handle for sure.

B’s captain Zdeno Chara weighed in, as well: Obviously our first concern is the health and safety of his family. That’s the most important thing we were all kind of thinking about and obviously we support Tuukka’s decision. There is nothing more important than your family. You know at this point we want to make sure that everybody else respects his privacy and you know I think we all just want to wish his family the best and that’s it.”

Jaroslav Halak, who takes over the starting goalie role, said the Bruins are a family.

“We are here as one family, and obviously there’s more important things than hockey in life,” he told reporters. “Obviously I’m gonna support him. He’s going to be at home, so I support his decision and I just want to step in and help the guys. I think they will do the same for me.”

The Bruins return to action Monday night for Game 4 at 8 p.m. ET.

More: Watch Sean Kuraly Score Shorthanded Goal, Double Bruins’ Lead Vs. Hurricanes

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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