In this edition of Boston Bruins’ News & Rumors, Tuukka Rask has decided to opt-out of the NHL Playoff Bubble, David Pastrnak has returned to practice but is still a game-time decision and Andrei Svechnikov’s status moving forward
Rask Opts Out of Playoffs
It’s no secret at this point that Rask has opted out of the 2020 NHL Playoffs to tend to a family emergency. Fortunately, the emergency seems to be passed and his family is fine, but the best thing for him and his family right now is for him to be there with them.
Rask and his wife have three daughters at home, including a baby girl who is only a few months old. During a global pandemic and with a family emergency already occurring, it makes sense for Rask to choose his family over his career, even if that’s hard for some fans and media to understand.
Rask was excellent for the Bruins during the 2019-20 season but felt that he was still shaking off rust once the postseason began after round-robin play leading up to Round One’s match-up with the Carolina Hurricanes.
It isn’t easy to leave your teammates and make a decision like this, but it also isn’t one that should be judged by people who simply don’t have all of the information. Life happens, especially when the world is still a mess with COVID-19 still ever-present.
The Bruins have turned to Jaroslav Halak as their starter in Rask’s absence and the veteran netminder proved to be up to the task in his first postseason start for the Bruins in Game 3.
Pastrnak Returns to Practice, Game-Time Decision
When the Bruins held an optional skate Sunday, they were treated to a pleasant piece of news as Pastrnak was on the ice for the team. Pastrnak has been out of the Bruins lineup since seemingly suffering an injury at the end of Game 1, a game that saw him score one goal and two points for his team.
As of now, Pastrnak’s status for the Bruins in Game 4 on Monday night appears to remain a game-time decision. This was the news out of Sunday’s press conference with head coach Bruce Cassidy, at least, as he maintained that Pastrnak’s status was still “50/50 at best.“
Getting Pastrnak back would be a huge boost for the Bruins as he was the co-winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy this past season and is the most lethal weapon for the Bruins as far as goal-scoring is concerned. Whether it’s his play at even strength of his power-play prowess, his success is paramount to the Bruins’ success both in the short-term and long-term.
The Bruins hold a 2-1 series lead on the Hurricanes and getting Pastrnak back will only do them good if he’s ready to go.
Svechnikov Unlikely to Return to Bruins’ Series
One of hockey’s more exciting young talents went down with what looked like a fairly significant injury in the Bruins 2-1 victory over the Hurricanes in Game 3. Svechnikov’s ankle seemed to twist in an unorthodox way and he was forced to leave the game as a result.
Hurricanes’ coach Rod Brind’Amour would say Sunday that he doesn’t have an update now but that it definitely seems unlikely that he’ll return to this series.
This was expected but still an unfortunate turn of events. The Hurricanes are one of the deepest and best teams in the NHL right now, but losing a player like Svechnikov is bad for them and for the sport as a whole.
the 20-year-old has scored four goals and seven points in six games since the NHL resumed play, including one goal and two points in three games during this series against the Bruins.
Ideally, Svechnikov’s injury wasn’t as serious as it looked originally, but for now, all we can do is wait and see.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.