After a rescheduling created a back-to-back for Games 1 and 2 of the first round, Bruce Cassidy downplayed the issue of potentially overtaxing his starting goalie.
"Don't forget, a lot of the back-to-back games specifically with us -- well, everybody -- is you're traveling and you're getting a poor night's sleep and an early morning," Cassidy said after Game 1 vs. Carolina. "So those won't be the case in this particular back-to-back. "Everyone should sleep well tonight, get some rest so there's that consideration too. So you got two things that tilt towards Tuukka [Rask] getting a back-to-back start." Obviously, Rask isn't there anymore and it's Jaroslav Halak. So why bring up that comment? Because the second round is going to have as many as two back-to-backs for the Bruins and Lightning -- including Games 6 and 7.
The series, which starts Sunday night, has Games 2 and 3 on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Then, should the series go long enough, Games 6 and 7 would be Sept. 1 and 2.
Halak has only started both games of a back-to-back once as a Bruin, which came last November during Rask's leave of absence. That, like the bubble games, consisted of no travel, as both games were at home. He allowed just one goal in each contest, both Bruins wins.
Considering that backup Dan Vladar has not played an NHL game, something crazy would have to happen to the Bruins' goaltending situation (again) for Halak to not get both games of a potential 6 and 7.
After a bumpy start to replacing Rask in the first round, Halak closed out the Hurricanes with a strong showing in Game 5. It's been enough of a test that he's been thrown into the fire; between the Lightning offense and so much work in a short period, his job is about to get tougher.