In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, we discuss Tuukka Rask, who decided to put an end to his comeback this past week, announcing his retirement from the NHL. Meanwhile, the team will be without Brad Marchand for some time as he was given a lengthy suspension by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety (DoPS). In other news, Patrice Bergeron has started practicing after suffering a laceration on the back of his head last Tuesday. Last but not least, Jack Studnicka is back with the Bruins after being recalled on Thursday.
Rask Announces Retirement
After his fourth start of the season, when he allowed five goals on 27 shots, the Bruins shut Rask down as he dealt with soreness in his hip, the same hip that was operated on this past summer. The hope was that after a week or so, he might be able to get back on the ice, but that didn’t turn out to be the case as the 34-year-old instead announced his retirement from the NHL.
“Today is a day I hoped would never come,” Rask wrote in a social media post. “But now that it’s here, I feel I owe it to everyone to hear it from me. When I made the decision to have surgery on my hip last summer, I did so knowing that the road to recovery would be challenging. I also knew it was something I would have to do if I wanted to give myself a chance to play my best hockey again. The rehab, the workouts, the practices – all of it was with the intention of getting back to where I needed to be to help my teammates win games and make another run at the Stanley Cup. Over these last few weeks, I’ve realized that my body is not responding the way it needs for me to play at the level I expect of myself and that my teammates and Bruins fans deserve. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from the game of hockey.”
It is a sad moment for Bruins fans, as Rask was their starting netminder for nearly a decade and one of the best the franchise has ever seen. With a career 2.28 goals-against average along with a .921 save percentage, a Stanley Cup and a Vezina Trophy, he may end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame down the road.
Marchand Suspended for Six Games
Last Tuesday, Marchand got very upset with Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry. What happened to spark his frustration is unknown, but he not only delivered a punch but shortly after, he skated by and put his stick near the netminders face.
This was extremely undisciplined for Marchand, who had cut down on these unnecessary plays of late. Unfortunately, because of Tuesday’s incident, he was handed a six-game suspension by the DoPS. He has since appealed the decision, as he doesn’t believe he was deserving of it.
“It was a situation that arose, and I reacted very poorly,” Marchand said on Friday. “So, it really doesn’t matter what started it. In that situation, I obviously have to be much better at controlling my emotions and not reacting that way…Yeah, was it stupid? Of course, it was stupid. I’m not denying that. I absolutely shouldn’t have done it. But suspension-worthy? I don’t think so.”
Whether or not the play warranted a six-game suspension, Marchand has a history, which surely played a part in the ruling. The Bruins need him on the ice, as he is having another fantastic season with 21 goals and 49 points through 39 games. Hopefully, he doesn’t let this happen again.
Bergeron Skating With Team
In that same game on Tuesday against the Penguins, Bergeron was forced to leave after falling and hitting his head on the boards. It has since been released that he suffered a head laceration. Despite the scary incident, it sounds as though he could be good to go soon, as he has recently started skating with his teammates.
“No, he won’t play (Tuesday),” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters. “He won’t travel today. (He’ll) probably meet us on the road if he progresses well.”
The sooner the Bruins can get Bergeron back over the final three games of their road trip, the better. The 36-year-old is having another great season with 35 points through 43 games, all while remaining one of the game’s most defensively sound forwards.
Studnicka Recalled From Providence
On Thursday, the Bruins announced that they recalled Studnicka as well as Tyler Lewington while assigning Oskar Steen to Providence. Studnicka has been up and down several times this season already but is hoping this time he will be able to stick for good. Many hoped the 22-year-old would be able to replace David Krejci as the team’s second-line center this season, but to this point, that hasn’t happened.
In 27 games with Providence this season, Studnicka has 19 points. He has also appeared in seven games with Boston, where he has managed a single assist. He has struggled to find his footing at the NHL level through his first 29 career games but is still one of the team’s better prospects.
Up Next for the Bruins
The Bruins will play the first game of the week on Tuesday against the New York Rangers. It won’t be an easy one, as the Rangers have been one of the best teams in the league this season. Their final two games of the week will come against lesser opponents, first against the New York Islanders on Thursday and the second against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.