Tuukka Rask Reveals His ‘Simple’ Message To Zdeno Chara In Handshake Line

It's hard to say much in that moment


May 28, 2021

Tuukka Rask and Zdeno Chara stood shoulder to shoulder for many postseason battles in their time together with the Boston Bruins, which spanned from the goaltender’s NHL debut in 2007 until the defenseman’s free agency departure this past offseason.

Thus, it probably was a bit strange to be adversaries so frequently during the 2020-21 campaign, which saw the Bruins knock off Chara and the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Then again, that’s the nature of the business.

“We played against him, what was it, eight times during the regular season. So it wasn’t that different,” Rask said Friday on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” of facing Chara in the playoffs. “Obviously the first game when he came back to the Garden it was kinda emotional for everybody and a little different, but you get used to it pretty quickly.”

The Bruins eliminated the Capitals on Sunday night in Game 5 at Capital One Arena, a 3-1 victory for Boston in which Rask stopped 40 of the 41 shots he faced. As is tradition, the teams met at center ice following the conclusion of the series to exchange pleasantries.

What did Rask say to Chara during the handshake line, which, again, probably was a tad awkward giving the blood, sweat and tears the latter poured into his 14 years as Bruins captain?

Not much, really.

“It’s such a brief moment there that you can’t really have too many words,” Rask said Friday. “But I just told him, ‘Good job in the series and I’ll see you around Boston.’ But that’s about it. It’s tough to say. One team’s disappointed, one team’s happy. So you just try to keep it pretty simple.”

It’s unclear what the future holds for both Rask and Chara, as they’re set to become unrestricted free agents at ages 34 and 44, respectively.

For now, Rask and the Bruins will prepare for their second-round matchup with the New York Islanders, which begins Saturday night at TD Garden, while Chara said after the Capitals’ elimination that he planned to return to his family in Boston before making a decision regarding his next move.

Thumbnail photo via Philip G. Pavely/USA TODAY Sports Images
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