As the East Division, best-of-seven second-round playoff series between the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders shifts to Long Island for Games 3 and 4 beginning tonight tied a game apiece, there are some questions facing the Black and Gold who attempt to get the home-ice advantage back.
After two days off in between games, there are some questions surrounding the Black and Gold ahead of Game 3. Let’s take a look at a few storylines to keep an eye on tonight.
1. How healthy is Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask?
Tuesday morning, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy met with the media and said that Tuukka Rask has been dealing with some nagging injuries. Again, if Cassidy didn’t say anything, would you have thought something was wrong with Rask considering how well he played in the previous seven games? He’s been challenging shots, has had good reaction saves, and been stopping nearly everything he has seen.
It’s the first week of June, the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, so in reality, who is healthy this time of the year, especially after going through a 56-game regular season in four months?
Rask gave up four goals in the Game 2 loss, two deflected by him and one was on a breakaway in overtime. Not a lot of the blame should be directed at Rask, but some will of course.
Between the first two games against the Islanders and the five games against the Capitals, 10 of the 16 goals he has allowed by been redirected by him or gone in off a teammate. He has a 2.06 goals-against average (GAA) in the playoffs this season, with a .930 save percentage (SV%).
Rookie Jeremy Swayman is the backup and ready to go if needed, but if he’s able to play, Cassidy and the coaching staff will ride Rask. We should know early in the game tonight just how healthy he is.