Tuukka Rask clearly didn’t care whether the Bruins held a scrimmage during their 10-day break before the start of the Stanley Cup Final or just kept practicing as usual.
Asked if he got what he wanted out of the scrimmage after the 50-minute "game" was completed at TD Garden on Thursday, Rask summed up his outing:
“I didn’t want to get anything out of it,” said the NHL leader in save percentage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (.942).
He elaborated a little later.
“It’s practice. That’s how I treat it, it’s practice,” Rask said. “You scrimmage in practice a lot, power play, I didn’t really want to accomplish anything, I just got out there and got the sweat out. That’s the biggest thing I guess.”
Rask has been in “the zone” throughout this postseason, so maybe the break won’t affect him. Still coach Bruce Cassidy felt the need to have the team duplicate a game night by reporting to Warrior Ice Arena in the morning and then showing up at the Garden for a 7 p.m. puck-drop.
Peter Cehlarik scored on a rebound and David Backes scored on a snipe high to the glove side against Rask, but the most important thing was that he and the rest of his teammates escaped the monotony-busting event in front of a near-capacity crowd healthy.
Rask sat out the second period, replaced by Zane McIntyre.
“It was set up. He was going to play a period. Got his work in, that was the decision. If he wanted to play the whole thing, he could’ve,” Cassidy said.
Now just four more days remain until the Bruins finally face the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 on Monday. The players are off Friday and then they’ll practice Saturday and Sunday.
“Yeah, it’s been a long layover I guess, kind of like a training camp situation in that sense,” Rask said. “But like I think you’re just kind of like it’s always in the back of your head that we’re going to start the finals soon, so you’re focused but you’re just waiting. So it’s kind of a different scenario obviously. But I think we practiced well, made great plays and we seem to be ready to go. So everything is just patience.”
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