BRIGHTON, Mass. — In the first week of Bruins Return to Play camp, Tuukka Rask had to exit practice early a couple of times and now we know the reasons behind it.
Bruce Cassidy actually had some fun with questions about it when asked about it on Tuesday following practice.
“Too much drums, I think,” said a smiling Cassidy during a Zoom call with Bruins reporters.
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Truthfully, though, the Bruins goaltender confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that he fractured the ring finger on his glove hand during off-ice workouts while box jumping. Rask was sporting a splint on his hand between his ring finger and middle finger while talking to the media about his Vezina Trophy nomination last week, and he was wearing it again during a Zoom call with the Bruins media on Tuesday morning following practice.
“I fractured my finger a couple of weeks ago doing box jumps. It’s getting better, so I’m not worried about it. It will be all set once we start playing,” said Rask. “I slammed my finger at the edge of the box and it bent my ligament back and kind of fractured it. It’s a small fracture, nothing major. But you can probably imagine, it doesn’t always feel great to catch pucks with that.
“I had the same kind of thing in my blocker hand, but in the glove hand now it’s pretty different. In the glove hand it’s just lingered a little bit. But it’s been two or three weeks now and it already feels a lot better, so I’m pretty optimistic that within a week I’ll have my normal glove on."
The good news is that Rask said it’s feeling much better this week while admitting it still hurts from time to time when he makes a glove save. It might have even been why the Bruins netminder punted a puck to center ice during Tuesday’s practice after making a glove save during a 5-on-5 drill.
The bad news is that Rask is banged up before the Bruins even begin playing games and this kind of injury could provide a target for opponents to aim at once the games start getting played at the beginning of August.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but the Bruins and Rask have to hope the issue is fully healed by the time the important games start getting played given the importance of the No. 1 goaltender to the B’s.