Boston Bruins general manager, Don Sweeney today announced that the team has granted goalie Tuukka Rask a leave-of-absence from the team. Sweeney did not specify the reason, however, he did say that it was a personal matter and was not health-related. There is no word on when Rask will return.
Jaroslav Halak looks to be in line to carry the load in Rask’s absence. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has already said Halak will start both games this weekend and the team is focussed on the Leafs on Saturday. However, Rask’s teammates voiced their support for the goalie.
“Obviously we miss him,” said Bruins captain, Zdeno Chara. “He’s our teammate. He’s our brother. He’s been here for a long time. But like I said, we all understand and respect his privacy. . . . We support him and think of him and obviously have to play without him.”
In his 12th season with the team, the 31-year-old netminder has struggled out of the gate having been outplayed by Halak thus far. Thursday night’s debacle notwithstanding. Rask is just 4-4 in his seven starts this year and sports a career-worst goals against average of 3.05. The Bruins, as a team, have also struggled as of late as they prepare to take on the Maple Leafs on Saturday and the Golden Knights on Sunday.
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Despite being pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots against the Canucks, Halak has been a nice surprise for the Bruins between the pipes. Halak has gone 4-1-2 in eight starts this season to the tune of a .936 save percentage and a 1.96 goals against average. The Bruins will now look to Halak to continue that strong play in Rask’s absence.
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