Zdeno Chara doesn’t sound offended by Tuukka Rask’s most recent comments, which probably means the Boston Bruins already have moved on.
Rask raised some eyebrows Thursday night with his postgame comments after the Bruins lost Game 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoffs series with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Boston goalie said playing playoff games without fans has been difficult, comparing them to “exhibition games.”
Obviously, this is a very different postseason. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the to NHL pause its season for four months, and the playoffs now are being held inside bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton. Players can’t leave the bubble, and when they go to play games, they do so in front of empty arenas. It’s certainly weird, and while Chara didn’t necessarily endorse Rask’s opinion, he certainly could relate — at least to an extent.
“Tuukka has the right to express his views and opinions,” Chara told reporters on a video call Friday. “I don’t think he meant anything bad about it. It’s just kind of being honest that it does feel a little bit different from the other playoff experiences we’ve had in the playoffs with the fans and the emotions. … Going forward, (we) just still (will) make these adjustments and feeling more comfortable with the environment we are playing (in) right now.”
Even as they work to make those adjustments, while also fine-tuning their actual play, Chara is at least grateful for the opportunity to resume the season, regardless of the abnormal circumstances.
“It’s something we respect each other’s views, opinions. We’re not gonna go any further or deeper into each other’s opinions,” he said. “We are here to play hockey and win hockey games. Of course, we realize it’s that time of the year we’re not used to playing at this time. At the same time, we’re playing hockey and we’re doing what we love to do. That’s where it’s at.”
The Bruins will try to regain control of the series Saturday afternoon at noon ET in Game 3 against the Hurricanes.