When we last saw Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask before the All-Star break he was leaving their game against the New York Rangers late in the first period after being on the wrong end of a nasty collision with Filip Chytil.
It all happened as Chytil drove to the net on a wonderful individual rush through the neutral zone, scored his ninth goal of the season, and was hit into Rask by Bruins defender Charlie McAvoy as he finished the play.
Rask was down for several minutes and had to immediately exit the game. He did not return.
Here is a look at the play again in case you missed it when it happened.
On Monday the team announced that Rask has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 19 with a concussion and that he will not play in Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
Because the injured reserve designation is retroactive all the way back to the 19th Rask is eligible to come off at any time, so it is not yet known how long he will be sidelined. After Tuesday’s game the Bruins return to action on Thursday night at home against the Philadelphia Flyers.
In the short-term, the Bruins have recalled backup goalie Zane McIntyre on an emergency basis to backup Jaroslav Halak who will take over the starting job for as long as Rask is sidelined.
While Rask’s health and well being is the most important thing here, this really does not change all that much for the Bruins in the short-term when it comes to the overall impact on the team. As long as it is not a long-term injury it should just be business as usual as Halak is more than capable of handling the playing time, as he has already done for stretches this season. The Bruins’ goaltending situation has been an interesting one to watch this season because Rask and Halak have taken part in what is a near perfect split of the job where neither one has been any better or worse than the other or received the bulk of the playing time for one reason or another.
They have been perfectly interchangeable in every way with a nearly identical performance across the board.
Rask has appeared in 26 games this season, starting 25, with a .919 overall save percentage and a .930 mark at even-strength.
Halak has appeared in 25 games, starting 24, with a .919 overall save percentage and a .930 mark at even-strength.
Those are not misprints or typos. They have been virtually the same in every way.
The Bruins enter Tuesday’s game in the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with a five-point cushion in the playoff race, while also sitting two points back of the Montreal Canadiens for third place in the Atlantic Division with two games in hand.