BOSTON (CBS) — Tuukka Rask raised some eyebrows Thursday night when, after the Bruins fell to the Hurricanes 3-2 in Game 2 of their playoff series, the Boston netminder said he was “not stressing too much about the results and whatnot.”
It’s an interesting comment, considering wins and losses are all that really matter in the NHL playoffs. But while Bruins fans may be ripping their hair out over that statement, Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t seem too bothered when chatting with reporters on Friday.
“I didn’t speak to him after his comments,” Cassidy said of Rask. “The Boston media knows him well enough. He answers his questions how he feels.”
Cassidy doesn’t necessarily agree with Rask’s assessment that the NHL bubble games are “dull” and don’t feel like playoff games. While there are no fans on to cheer — or mercifully boo — there is still a shot at a championship on the line.
“It is a unique environment, but it’s a playoff feel on the ice,” he said. “At the end of the day they’re going to hand the Stanley Cup to someone, and we have to play our best hockey if we want to be that team. That was our goal at the start of the year.”
Rask didn’t take the ice for Boston’s optional skate on Friday morning, but Cassidy said that he “anticipates” No. 40 will be between the pipes for Game 3. He did add that he’d like a little better showing from the goalie, along with everyone playing in front of him, come Saturday afternoon.
“In those one-goal games, the goalies need to make that extra save along the way. We didn’t and they did,” Cassidy said of Rask in Game 2. “I think his game can grow, like all of our games. Goaltending is probably tougher after the long layoff, so I do understand that with all the goalies. We know he can play better, and we hope we can play better in front of him.”
Cassidy didn’t have much of an update on David Pastrnak, who deemed “unfit to participate” mere moments before Game 2. He said there’s a chance the forward could play Saturday, but with a noon game there is “no real opportunity to test him.”
Cassidy did say the team would be making some lineup changes, both at forward and on defense, for Saturday’s Game 3.