Tuukka Rask might only end up missing one game for the Boston Bruins despite suffering a concussion from a nasty collision on Jan. 19.
Yes, the All-Star break and other quirks of the schedule limited the damage, but it’s still pretty surprising that Rask has recovered so quickly. While it’s not a guarantee that Rask will be able to play against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy seemed reasonably confident about it happening, as NBC Boston’s Joe Haggerty reports.
“There’s a good chance [Rask will play vs. Flyers],” Cassidy said. “We’re going to wait and see how he does in the morning after his first full practice, and that there’s no fatigue or whatnot after missing time. Assuming he’s ready to go and feels (good) about everything, there’s a good chance that he’ll get in.”
According to Haggerty, Rask said that he suffered from motion sickness and nausea after that collision with Filip Chytil, but not “too bad of a headache.”
(In case you’re wanting to argue about it, Rask also recognized that Charlie McAvoy knocked Chytil into him, with Rask describing it as “just one of those things.”)
Rask’s return also brings added attention onto something critics might have missed: the Finn’s had a pretty strong season so far.
Rask is 14-8-3 with a .919 save percentage in 2018-19, his best save percentage since 2014-15, when he managed a .922 save percentage. (It says a lot about his splendid run that .922 is also his overall career average.)
If Rask is less than 100 percent, this may also continue his very hot-and-cold run of months so far, which may explain why his overall excellence might be lost on some.
October save percentage: .902 in six games
November: .933 in six GP
December: .904 in seven GP
January: .941 in seven GP
Jaroslav Halak is just a breath behind Rask (.918 save percentage in 27 games), so the Bruins could pump the brakes if it becomes clear that Rask isn’t actually ready to come back.
Overall, Boston’s been pretty spoiled when it comes to its two goalies, and Rask’s rapid recovery might continue that run of good luck. If this team can get healthy – both in net and beyond – they could be an awfully tough out.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.