Bruins

Bruins hope Tuukka Rask concussion 'settles itself quickly' after nasty hit

usatsi_12026808.jpg
USA TODAY Sports photo

Bruins hope Tuukka Rask concussion 'settles itself quickly' after nasty hit

BOSTON – Things turned quickly for Tuukka Rask in Saturday’s loss to the New York Rangers where it went from going for a historic win to not even being able to get out of the first period in one piece. Rask was knocked out of Boston’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers with a concussion after getting crushed by Rangers winger Filip Chytil on a power rush to the net that resulted in New York’s first goal.

Chytil was headed to the net with a head of steam, and went airborne when shoved by Charlie McAvoy in what ended with a violent collision at the net. Rask was spaghetti-legged as he left the ice with a concussion and Jaroslav Halak absorbed his fourth loss in his last five appearances while allowing two goals on 13 shots.

Now the Bruins are hoping that more than a week of rest time – thanks to the bye week and NHL All-Star weekend – will be enough to find Rask healthy and ready to resume his duties when the regular season resumes.

“He’s concussed. That’s all I know, so he’ll go into protocol. The best-case scenario for those is usually the next day if he’s doing well,” said Bruce Cassidy of Rask, who went into Saturday night with a 2.43 goals against average and a .920 save percentage while playing some of his best hockey of the season. “Then he’s up and running and it shouldn’t be too badly affected by it other than the immediate, today’s kind of pain and symptoms. If he’s not, then it’s one of those where you just keep your fingers crossed and hope it settles itself out quickly.

“I don’t want this to come out of context, but the timing is probably the best it’s ever going to be, right? If you’re going to have this injury because you do have nine days before you play again, so for any player. But there is no good timing, having said that, because who knows how it’ll play out for him. So it’s unfortunate.”

Cassidy was also quick to point that he didn’t think the collision was intentional on the part of Chytil, who definitely appeared to lose his balance once he made contact with McAvoy while going full speed at the Bruins net.

“I don’t think there’s intent to hit the goalie. I think that’s rare. There’s probably a player or two that tries not to get out of the way, for sure. I don’t think this kid tried to hit him. I think he did hit him. How much Charlie [McAvoy] affected that? The reaction is did the goal go in because he hit him or the puck went in first clearly, so it’s a good goal? I thought there are nights where it would’ve been called goalie interference after the goal and we would’ve been on the power play, not that tonight would’ve been the best night for that,” said Cassidy. “At the end of day, I’ve seen that call. He didn’t make it. He felt Charlie had something to do with the contact, and you move on.”

It’s the second documented concussion for Rask after he suffered one in Bruins practice a couple of years ago when Anders Bjork ran over him during a particularly lively practice drill, and ended up missing more than a week of action in his recovery. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NHL free agents 2019: Ranking top 25 players available this offseason

NHL free agents 2019: Ranking top 25 players available this offseason

The 2019 NHL Draft is scheduled to begin Friday, and less than two weeks later free agency will open for all 31 teams.

It's going to be a busy and important couple of weeks for franchises looking to make major changes to their rosters with the hope of winning the Stanley Cup in 2020 and beyond.

Let's take a look at the top unrestricted and restricted free agents that could hit the market in July.

Click here for the top 25 free agents of the 2019 NHL offseason>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Bruins plan to address Bruce Cassidy's contract as he enters final year of the deal

Bruins plan to address Bruce Cassidy's contract as he enters final year of the deal

As Bruce Cassidy enters the final year of his contract as head coach of the Boston Bruins, it probably goes without saying that he deserves an extension. 

The good news for B's fans, according to Joe McDonald of The Athletic, Boston is pleased with Cassidy's performance and plans to address his contract. 

'He’s under contract, so we have decisions that we’re going to progress with, and he’ll be part of that,' general manager Don Sweeney said. 'He’s under contract, so it’s not a concern right now, but we will address it.'

After a 107-point 2018-19 campaign, good for the second-best mark in the NHL, Cassidy led the Bruins to the brink of a Stanley Cup only to fall in Game 7 at TD Garden to the St. Louis Blues.

One of the major themes of this year's Bruins team was their resiliency under Cassidy. Boston fought back from a 3-2 deficit in the first round of the playoffs against Toronto and a 2-1 deficit against Columbus to win those series, and then won another Game 6 on the road down 3-2 to the Blues. 

The Bruins have made the playoffs in each of their first three seasons with Cassidy leading the charge, improving their finish in the postseason each year. 

BRUINS UNDER CASSIDY

2016-17: 44-31-7 (95 points), lost in the first round (4-2)
2017-18: 50-20-12 (112 points), lost in the second round (4-1)
2018-19 49-24-9 (107 points), lost in Stanley Cup Final (4-3)

Cassidy is the second-fastest Bruins coach to reach 100 wins as he has cemented himself as one of the best coaches in the league. And team President Cam Neely certainly thinks highly of him. 

'He’s done a very good job for us, obviously,' Neely said. 'Coming in when he did and getting us to the playoffs and then almost having two, back-to-back 50-win seasons — pretty impressive. He learned from our playoff losses and how to maybe coach a little bit differently in the playoffs.'

We'll see if the Bruins extend Cassidy before the 2019-20 season starts, but it definitely seems like they view him as their long term answer on the Black and Gold's bench. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.