Tuukka Rask was back at Bruins practice on Monday after being “unfit to participate” over the weekend following a bout with a cough.
In the age of COVID-19 prevention and containment within the Toronto bubble, the NHL obviously didn’t fool around with the symptom and had the B’s goaltender test negative multiple times before allowing him to get back on the ice. Rask practiced fully on Monday after backup netminder Jaroslav Halak took the loss over the weekend and is expected to get the start on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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Here’s more on Rask’s adventure with the app the players need to access daily, while also testing negative daily, to keep the bubble a secure environment for the next few months:
"I had a cough, so I just clicked yes on the app and then all kinds of red lights started blinking,” said Rask. “I was quarantined for two days. They wanted to do two negative tests after that. It wasn’t easy lying in bed for a couple of days and being quarantined.
That’s it and now I’m back today. They wanted to be very cautious of that because if you happen to test positive then you’ve spread it around to who knows how many guys. I’ll be ready to go.
It does make you wonder if players will be as forthcoming with the symptoms on the morning of a game day once teams get deeper into the traditional playoff rounds. According to the NHL, there have been zero COVID-19 positive rest results among the 800 players and 7,013 tests administered during the two weeks of Phase 4 in the Return to Play plan.
Patrice Bergeron was absent from practice on Monday, but that was a “maintenance day” and he’s expected to be back at practice on Tuesday. Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase both skated on the second line with David Krejci during Monday’s practice as well, and Ritchie is expected to get into the lineup against Tampa Bay in a couple of days.
Kase is “doubtful” for Wednesday’s game against the Lightning, but the Czech winger is expected to play next weekend against the Washington Capitals as long as everything goes according to plan. Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Bruins practice:
|Brad Marchand||Frederic/Studnicka||David Pastrnak|
|Nick Ritchie||David Krejci||Kase/Kuhlman|
|Anders Bjork||Charlie Coyle||DeBrusk/Senyshyn|
|Joakim Nordstrom||Kuraly/Lindholm||Chris Wagner|
|Zdeno Chara||Charlie McAvoy|
|Torey Krug||Brandon Carlo|
|Matt Grzelcyk||Jeremy Lauzon|
|John Moore||Connor Clifton|
|Jakub Zboril||Urho Vaakanainen|