Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was playing at less than 100 percent health during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and now we know what exactly he was dealing with over the last few weeks.
Rask revealed Friday morning during the B's season-ending media availability that he was playing with a hip injury.
"I have a torn labrum in my hip. I'm going to do surgery," Rask said. "I just don't know what the exact date is, probably within a month. I'll start the recovery process and then we'll see what the future holds after that. Hopefully the recovery goes well and I'll be ready to play hockey at some point next year."
Here's how Bruins should handle Rask's future, goalie situation
When would Rask be able to play again after surgery? It sounds like early 2022 is a potential target.
"I do (want to play next year). Mentally, I'm up for that," Rask explained. "The physical aspect, hopefully everything goes well. We'd probably be looking at a January or February return to hockey. That's kinda the plan, and hopefully it works out."
Injury also was an issue for Rask during the regular season, where he played in just 24 of the team's 56 games. He was able to play in all 11 of Boston's playoff games, but there were times throughout the postseason when it looked like he wasn't moving as well as you'd expect. So, it's not a surprise at all to hear Rask say he was dealing with a hip issue.
The 34-year-old netminder finished the playoffs with a .919 save percentage and a 2.36 GAA. Unfortunately for the Bruins, he struggled in the second-round series loss to the New York Islanders. He gave up four or more goals in three of the six games, including the last two.
Rask is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He admitted he wants to return to the Bruins and doesn't have any interest in playing for another team.
If Rask does re-sign with the Bruins, it would behoove the team to add another veteran goalie to the mix. Starting the 2021-22 season with Jeremy Swayman and Dan Vladar -- who have 15 games of regular season experience between them -- is not the most ideal situation if Rask isn't going to play until January at the earliest.