The Boston Bruins look set to welcome Tuukka Rask back this week, with it seeming like the Finn has already recovered from a concussion suffered two weeks ago.
Whatever the timeline for his return is, of course needs one game added to it, what with the NHL’s policy of suspending players that opt out of the All-Star Weekend. I doubt though that Tuukka Rask, nor the Boston Bruins will be too upset at having one extra game toward his recovery.
In fact, in taking Tuukka Rask off of injured reserve, perhaps the Boston Bruins are playing a clever game with the league. Perhaps he is still a few days away from fit and healthy but they’re playing it so that he gets his suspension out of the way as soon as possible.
Obviously that might circumvent some sort of injured reserve rule but rules in the NHL, especially those when it comes to injured reserve, salary and such, all seem to be there to be circumvented or messed with in some way, shape or form.
Anyhow, back to Tuukka Rask – he’s recovered from a concussion in exactly the timeline that we’ve come to expect of him. On both previous occasions, he’s only missed a couple of weeks and given the impact didn’t appear overly significant, it always seemed reasonable to expect a similar recovery period.
Given the one game suspension he’ll be serving, the Boston Bruins can expect to have Tuukka Rask back in net when they face off with the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul on Saturday.
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With the fixture being the second half of a back-to-back that sees the us travel to Winnipeg the day prior, you can expect Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy to be wanting Rask back in rather than doubling down on Jaroslav Halak or having to risk young backup Dan Vladar in net.
All in all, it seems the Boston Bruins got quite lucky with the timing of the concussion. Instead of missing two weeks and seven or eight games, Tuukka Rask was missing for just three (four when you include this Friday’s Jets game).
With any luck, he’ll be fighting fit and focused ready for the run-in. Both Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak need to be on their best form if the Boston bruins are to hold off the Atlantic Division threat of a streaking Tampa Bay Lightning.