In the midst of frequent roster changes, Boston welcomed a familiar face back to the ice, Sunday. But what will the Bruins’ number one goaltender Tuukka Rask bring to the line-up that fill-in goalie Anton Khudobin, hasn’t already?
Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask struggled to provide after being placed back on the ice Sunday, vs. Edmonton. After a 4-2 loss, the net-minder started Wednesday vs. Tampa Bay, making 19 saves in a 3-2 win. Rask hadn’t started a game since Nov. 15 in Anaheim and had hoped to exceed expectations by treating this opportunity as if it were a return from injury. Prior to puck drop, Cassidy hinted at what he wanted to see from the returning goaltender.
“We’ve got terrific goaltending out of [Anton Khudobin], we’d like to get terrific goaltending out of Tuukka so everything is terrific. But we’ll see, it’s his chance [on Sunday]. That’s it.” Cassidy told NHL.com
Boston’s team building has been restricted this season due to the consistent wave of injuries that struck the roster within the last two months. Goalie Anton Khudobin’s day off is Cassidy’s first step in building better competition while filling in the temporary gaps left by players appearing on injured reserve. Rask finally had received the opportunity to make in-game improvements after working individually, off the ice.
“Internal competition I think is good for any team in any sport” Cassidy explained to NHL.com at a press conference. “It just makes you better and then you’ve got difficult decisions to make.”
Backes returns, Krecji sits out
The Bruins couldn’t let their hopes get too high. The long-awaited return of three previously-injured players was interrupted by the removal of recently recovered David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk from the lineup in Tampa, Wednesday. This week the Bruins welcomed back center David Backes, left-wing Brad Marchand, and center Ryan Spooner to practice, preparing them for play in Florida.
“You have to battle through and the guys have. We’ve won four of the last five and we’re starting to come together,” Cassidy told NHL.com. “It’s good that guys are able to step up and guys are getting opportunities to take control and be big for us”
DeBrusk’s injuries are day-to-day, making him the 14th Bruin to step off the ice as the result of an injury, this season. Krejci’s five-game streak was broken Sunday when an aggravation of an upper-body injury put him out of commission once again.
Boston fans still await the return of star scorer Brad Marchand, who separated himself from the red “non-contact” jersey at this morning’s practice after sitting out for six consecutive games.
The Bruins tasted success again Friday as Krejci returned strongly to the ice accumulating a point and an assist. Despite his return, Rask’s redeeming chance resulted in a 4-2 loss to Edmonton on Sunday. However, he excelled Wednesday as the Bruins beat the Lightning 3-2.
Next 7 Days at a Glance
Saturday, Dec. 2 vs. Philadelphia at 1pm
Monday, Dec. 4 vs Nashville at 8pm