The Bruins have their first bit of intrigue for the round-robin portion of the NHL’s Return to Play postseason as Tuukka Rask is a question mark for Sunday afternoon’s opener against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Rask missed Saturday afternoon’s practice at the Toronto practice facility after “not feeling very well” and staying behind at the team hotel. There won’t be another team practice between now and the Sunday afternoon matinee against the Flyers, so Bruce Cassidy couldn’t say for sure who’s going to man the pipes against the Broad Street Bullies.
“He wasn’t feeling well, so unfit to participate today,” said Cassidy. “As an afternoon question tomorrow, the natural next question is ‘will he start?’ I’ll have to talk to Tuukka later and see where he’s at. If [Rask can’t play] then Jaro [Halak] will be ready to go.”
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Rask had missed a few practices at the beginning of Phase 3 training camp after fracturing one of his fingers on his glove hand, but it doesn’t appear this absence is any way connected with that earlier injury.
Jaroslav Halak practiced fully with the team on Saturday and was expected to start at least one of the round-robin games anyway, so it might be just as easy for the B’s backup to get the nod Sunday after playing half of Thursday night’s exhibition loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then again, one would expect the B’s would want to get Rask back into action quickly after he allowed three goals on 20 shots in a “meh” performance against the Blue Jackets earlier this week.
Cassidy indicated that Brad Marchand practiced fully and appears ready to go for Sunday afternoon while Ondrej Kase will not play this weekend after meeting up with the team in Toronto on Friday, and practicing with the extra players on Saturday.