UNIONDALE, NY – Boston Bruins goalkeeper Tuukka Rask acknowledged that offseason surgery is an opportunity for a nagging injury that limited him in their loss in six games to the New York Islanders in the East Division Final.
Rask would not reveal the nature of his ailments after the Bruins’ 6-2 loss to the Islanders in Game 6 on Wednesday night, eliminating Boston from the playoffs. “I don’t think it needs to be the headline now,” said the goalkeeper, who stopped 23 out of 27 shots in the loss.
Rask was pulled after two periods in Boston’s Game 5 loss Monday night, with coach Bruce Cassidy saying “there was some maintenance to be done” and that Rask “was not himself.”
Cassidy, whose team has now lost in round 2 in a row in seasons, said on Wednesday that Rask was dealing with an injury suffered a little earlier this season, but that Rask said he was healthy enough to play in the Game 6.
“He was not 100%. I can not answer whether he was 95% or 92%. We talk to him daily. He is ready to go. We gave him time to heal in the middle of the year and We would have given “him time to heal in the playoffs if necessary. He is our starting goalkeeper, he told us he was ready to go and that was it,” said the coach.
“There may be surgery. It can not,” Cassidy added. “It will be his decision and the decision of the medical staff.”
Cassidy admitted that Rask did not have his strongest game on Wednesday night.
“Of course he could have been better. As I alluded to earlier, there are some rebounds that we could have cleared or controlled better. But we managed some pucks incorrectly and also placed them on bad spots,” he said.
The Bruins were without injured defenders Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller, two veterans who were greatly missed as Boston struggled to handle the islanders’ forecheck. The first four Islanders goals came on Brown’s defensive misunderstandings.
New York opened the scoring on the first of several defensive misunderstandings for the Bruins. Travis Zajac battled a Charlie McAvoy check in front of the Boston goal and sent the puck behind Rask for the 1-0 lead.
The Bruins tied the game for a power-play goal by Brad Marchand at. 17:36 in the first period and took advantage of two consecutive penalties against the Islanders. Those calls were notable because Boston coach Bruce Cassidy earned a $ 25,000 fine for claiming Game 5 officials had shown favoritism against New York.
“I think they’re selling a story over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders,” Cassidy said after Game 5. “They just need to be better than that. Call the game as you see it. Stop listening to these outside influences and get it done right. “
Islanders fans grabbed the tirade and shouted “New York Saints” during their penalty shootout. Some fans wore halos to the game, while others wore a bishop’s hat with an Islanders logo on it.
The misunderstandings continued for Boston in the second period. Brock Nelson deprived defender Matt Grzelcyk of the puck by the ice and scored on an outburst at. 5.20 in the second.
It was Nelson again at. 12:39 on another Boston mistake when defender Mike Reilly fumbled a pass from Rask and the Islanders converted. Quickly called the pass “a grenade” that detonated to a turnover.
Kyle Palmieri made it 4-1 on yet another Grzelcyk turnover, this time just ahead of Rask.
“I could have made a few more savings, for sure. Didn’t do it today. The season ended. I struggled. I tried. Just fell short,” Rask said.
Marchand made it 4-2 with a power-play goal in the third. The Islanders scored two empty net goals for the final margin.
For the Bruins, it’s another miss of the opportunity to bring home another Stanley Cup with the team’s veterans from Rask, Marchand, center Patrice Bergeron and center David Krejci.
“We’re all getting older. It’s not going to last forever. It’s definitely closing at some point, for sure,” Rask said.
Both Krejci and Rask are unlimited free agents this offseason. It is possible that Rask, 34, may have played his last game with the Bruins. Boston will also have to make a decision on acquiring trade deadline Taylor Hall, a winger and former ligamVP who fought against the Islanders.
“We’ll see. I have no thoughts right now,” Rask said. “It’s a heavy loss. We’re holding our exit meetings and starting to plan for the future.”