Tuukka Rask on GHS says his health is still ‘not as good as I’d want it to be’


Tuukka Rask didn’t look like a goalie who was battling anything other than some deflections in the first round, as he had a .941 save percentage in the Bruins’ five-game series win over the Capitals.

Appearing on The Greg Hill Show Friday morning ahead of the start of the second round Saturday night, Rask said he is still not 100% health-wise, though.

Rask missed five weeks with an upper-body injury -- believed to be his back -- from early March to mid-April. He’s played well ever since returning, but there has also been quite a bit of load management to help him ramp up for what the Bruins hope will be a deep playoff run.

“Game feels good. Health is OK,” Rask said. “I’ve been playing, so that’s OK. It’s not as good as I’d want it to be, but obviously I’ve been playing and practicing. I’m out there. That’s all that matters.”

Rask also clarified something he said during his press conference after Game 1 of the first round when the Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont asked him about his future. After saying he hadn’t given much thought to his contract situation -- the 34-year-old Rask is a free agent after the season -- Rask responded to a follow-up about whether he feels good enough physically to play beyond this season.

“I’m not going to answer that right now,” Rask said at the time. “I’ll talk to you after the season. You’ll find out.”

That led to some speculation and some conflation of his answer about his contract situation and his health situation.

“I took that question as a health question, actually,” Rask clarified Friday. “That was not about my contract situation. I think Kevin Paul Dupont asked me about my health, and I told him I’d talk to him about it after the season.

“But I guess if you’re talking contract status, we haven’t had any discussions during the playoffs. We’ll find out. There’s going to obviously be some decisions to be made. We’ll see. There’s no pressure about that. I’m sure we’re going to have good talks and come to a conclusion that pleases everybody.”

Rask said that with his style of play, which is more about positioning and generally requires less movement than a lot of other goalies, he thinks he could play another 10 years if he wanted to, but that he’ll have to decide just how much longer he actually does want to do it.

“With my style, I could probably play 10 more years if I wanted to. It’s just a matter of how long you want to play,” he said. “That’s the question I have to ask myself. How long do I want to keep doing? It takes a lot of time and effort every season to prepare yourself and go through that grind, so those are the questions I have to ask.

“Because if you sign a contract and you play, you have to commit to it. You don’t want to be second-guessing yourself midway through the season -- why did I keep playing, or you’re totally checked out. I could play 10 more years with my style of hockey, but I’m definitely not gonna play that long. It’s just a matter of how long I want to keep grinding out.”

As part of his appearance, Rask and The Greg Hill Foundation announced they will each be matching donations up to $20,000 to help Charlie Capalbo, a former standout goalie who is battling leukemia. For more information and to donate, click here.

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