BRIGHTON, Mass -- Tuukka Rask may return sooner rather than later, after all.
The 30-year-old Bruins goaltender returned to regular practice on Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, and could still be in the lineup for Thursday night’s tilt with the San Jose Sharks if he passes his final concussion testing. Rask said it was the first concussion of his hockey career, and that most of the tricky symptoms went away within the first couple of days following last week’s practice collision with rookie Anders Bjork.
Rask dryly called it “a good hit” and confirmed that Bjork was indeed pushed into Rask as the circumstances behind him getting laid out on the ice, but said there won’t be any hesitation to his game when he does back between the pipes.
“I’ve been good for a few days. Skated yesterday and today ramped it up a little bit more. Now I go do the concussion computer test, get cleared and then go full tilt [on Wednesday],” said Rask, who was definitely spaghetti-legged when he was helped off the ice less than a week ago during the fateful practice. “Luckily I didn’t lose consciousness or anything, and the doctors said generally that if you haven’t had too many of them, and they do happen at an older age, you tend to bounce back quicker. The first two days were a little foggy, but I turned the corner pretty quickly.
“The whole protocol with the league is so you don’t come back too quickly, and I think they definitely make sure that’s not the case.”
Should Rask get thrown right back in vs. the Sharks if he passes the concussion testing?
“If I feel good and I’m on the roster then why not? Hopefully my baseline wasn’t too high before the season” said a smirking Rask. “They didn’t want me to do contact today, but I didn’t feel hesitant. You can’t go out there and feel hesitant.”
Otherwise, both Patrice Bergeron and Kevan Miller (no-contact jersey) made it through practice with the Bruins while David Krejci missed his second straight practice with a cranky back that caused him to miss last weekend’s loss to Buffalo. The continued absence for Krejci is starting to put his availability for Thursday into some doubt as well. Here are the Bruins line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice: