NHL players tend to shed injuries during the playoffs, but what Tuukka Rask played during the Bruins’ playoff run is preposterous.
As Rask confirmed to reporters during exit interviews Friday morning, he was dealing with a torn labrum in his hip during the playoffs. You will need surgery to repair the problem.
“I have a torn labrum in my hip. I’m going to have surgery,” Rask said. Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston. “I just don’t know what the exact date is, probably a month from now. I’ll start the recovery process and then we’ll see what the future holds after that. Hopefully the recovery goes well and I’ll be ready to play hockey sometime in the year. coming “.
During the last two games of the Bruins vs. Islanders was clear that Rask was not the same. He played just two periods against New York in Game 5, conceding four goals on 16 shots, before exiting. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Rask had “some maintenance that needed to be done” during the final period of the game.
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In Game 6, Rask saved 23 of 27 shots but didn’t look 100 percent. He was not moving as well as before in the series. After the Bruins were eliminated, Cassidy suggested that Rask needed surgery.
Now we know why. That Rask was able to stay on the ice with a torn labrum at his hip is impressive. However, playing despite the injury may cost him some playing time next season.
Rask said he wants to play in Boston again next year, but won’t be able to return until January at the earliest.
“Yeah (I want to play next year). Mentally, I’m ready for that,” Rask said. “The physical aspect, I hope everything goes well. We would probably be seeing a return to hockey in January or February. That’s a bit of the plan, and I hope it works out.”
Certainly, if Boston wants Rask (a free agent) to return, having him out of the game to start the season is not ideal.
A question also arises; Did Boston really have to start with Rask at less than 100 percent?
The Bruins have great talent. His backup Jeremy Swayman posted a 7-3-0 record, .945 save percentage and 1.50 goals versus average in 10 regular-season starts. And veteran Jaroslav Halak (9-6-4 record, .905 SV percentage, 2.53 GAA) was also available.
Sure, starting over with Rask would have been a risk. Swayman is an inexperienced rookie and gave up a goal on three shots against the Islanders in relief from Rask during Game 5. Halak struggled towards the end of the season after coming off the COVID list and saw Swayman surpass him on the depth chart. .
But they both had an advantage over Rask: they were presumably healthy.