Even before the COVID-19 shutdown and removal of player participation in the Olympics caused NHL schedule upheaval, the Boston Bruins’ schedule was bizarre.
There were constant starts and stops early on. They’d play a game, then have to wait five days before playing another game. It was odd, and unlike anything we’ve really seen before.
But, could it have indirectly helped the Bruins? It sure feels that way.
While the Linus Ullmark-Jeremy Swayman tandem has been good, Rask is an elite goalie who represents an upgrade at the position. And because of the odd scheduling, the Bruins on Thursday only will be playing their 30th game of the season.
For comparison, in 2019, the last time the Bruins’ schedule was normal, their 30th game of this season was on Dec. 7. On Jan. 7, 2020, of that season, the Bruins played their 44th game of the campaign.
Basically, the starting and stopping allowed for the Bruins to get Rask for far more games this season than they otherwise would have, had the schedule been more normal. As Boston fights for a playoff spot, that could end up being huge.
The Bruins’ plans in net for when Rask returns remain uncertain. However, they most certainly won’t gripe about having Rask for more games than originally expected.