Tuukka takes leave

Rask’s ab­sence a per­sonal mat­ter, not health re­lated

Boston Herald - - SPORTS - By MARISA INGEMI Twit­ter: @Marisa_Ingemi

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.

MATT STONE / BOS­TON HER­ALD

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.

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