Tuukka takes leave
Rask’s absence a personal matter, not health related
The Bruins have granted goalie Tuukka Rask a leave of absence that will keep him from the team for the next few days.
“Tuukka’s going to take a few days to address a personal matter,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. “It is not health related.”
Rask will be out for at least the two games during the weekend at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights.
“Tomorrow we’re focused on the Maple Leafs, business as usual,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That will be the focus of the staff and players. I’m sure different players with different friendships will reach out to Tuukka.”
The team provided no further details. The decision was made yesterday morning when he requested the leave of absence.
Rask allowed three goals in the Bruins’ 8-5 loss to the Canucks on Thursday night, all on the first eight shots he faced after replacing Jaroslav Halak. In eight games this season, he’s posted a record of 4-4-0 with a 3.05 goals against average and .901 save percentage.
“You lose players here and there during the year,” Cassidy said. “The players are very good at getting dialed in to business when it’s time.”
After allowing a seasonhigh eight goals in their loss Thursday night, the Bruins are focused on bouncing back even with Rask out of the lineup.
“I’m not going to go into anything because I don’t know,” center Patrice Bergeron said. “It’s a personal issue. We’re behind him and support him 100 percent. He’s a great friend and we’re all here for him.”
Sweeney stressed there was no real timeline for Rask’s return, but mentioned it would be a few days. The Bruins have an extended road trip at Colorado, Dallas, Arizona and Detroit after the homestand closes out on Sunday.
Cassidy said Halak could start both games during the weekend, but will definitely be in the lineup against Toronto.
“He definitely starts (Saturday),” he said. “It looks like he could go back in Sunday, but generally we’ll say that Saturday after the game probably.”
The Bruins planned on recalling one of their goalies in the American Hockey League — Zane McIntyre or Dan Vlader — following Providence’s game last night.
Rask has started just two of the past six games. He earned a win against Dallas on Monday night, allowing one goal after he hadn’t picked up a win since October 23 against Ottawa.
TIME OFF: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40), who is 4-4-0 with a 3.05 goals-against average and .901 save percentage so far this season, has been granted a leave of absence from the team and will be out at least through the weekend, according to general manager Don Sweeney.