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Bruce Cassidy says Tuukka Rask set to start Thursday for Bruins


The Bruins coach said Rask could get his first start of the 2021-22 season Thursday night, but he won’t be forced into a full-time job anytime soon.

FILE – Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) plays against the Buffalo Sabers in 2021. (AP Photo / Jeffrey T. Barnes, file)

  • What Tuukka Rask, Bruins leadership said about Rask’s impending return

It’s happening, Bruins fans. Tuukka Rask is about to come back for good.

In a press briefing ahead of the Bruins’ game against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said he wouldn’t wait too long to see how the veteran goaltender fares. for the purpose of his longtime team.

“Our intention is to start Tuukka tomorrow, all other things being equal,” Cassidy said. “He’ll have to be okay with that. I believe it is.

That would bring Rask back to action in front of a home crowd as the Bruins face the Philadelphia Flyers in their first game since Boston was ousted from the Stanley Cup playoffs last summer. Rask, who was an unrestricted free agent last offseason, did not immediately re-sign with the team and underwent surgery to repair a torn hip labrum that hampered him in the end for the 2020-21 season.

But the 34-year-old has always been clear about his desire to re-sign with the Bruins, a goal that came to fruition on Tuesday when he signed a contract that will net him $ 545,000 prorated for the remainder of the season. year.

Now he is in contention to support Linus Ullmark on Wednesday against the Habs before taking the net on Thursday. Rookie Jeremy Swayman, meanwhile, was sent to the Providence Bruins in the AHL.

For now, Cassidy has said the Bruins have no plans to push Rask back into a full-time starting role too soon.

“We have to see how he behaves,” Cassidy said. “Right now his physical condition is recovering… we have a lot of things to come, so obviously most of the goalies are going to score the net.

“We could alternate from the start to see how it goes. But then again, in part, how does Tuukka react to playing right after the surgery and obviously producing the play of the two goalkeepers. This is how we did it earlier this year.

Rask returns in the midst of a strong push from the Bruins, who have won five of their last six games and currently hold eighth place in the NHL Eastern Conference playoffs.

Some of the veteran’s stable goalies would certainly help this cause.

“I think the team’s last few games have shown that they can play solid hockey against good teams,” said Rask. “It’s a long season, so there are still a lot of games left. I think as long as we keep building in the right direction like we always say it’s about making the playoffs and then anything can happen. I’m looking forward to it.


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