Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask retires from Stanley Cup playoffs, says family ‘more important’ right now


The Boston Bruins will be without Tuukka Rask for the remainder of their 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. The goaltender announced Saturday morning that he was retiring from the Toronto playoff bubble to return home to be with his family.

The announcement came hours before the Bruins were set to face the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of their opening round series.

“I want to be with my teammates in competition, but right now there are more important things than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family,” Rask said in a team statement.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney spoke to the media after the decision was made public and said he was not completely surprised by Rask’s decision to step down. Sweeney said the family weighed on the mind of the goalkeeper, especially with a newborn baby at home.

After the Bruins lost in Game 2 on Thursday, Rask commented on the intensity of games in the playoff bubble, which has left some wondering if he was mentally verified.

“To be honest with you, it doesn’t really look like playoff hockey,” Rask said after the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to Carolina. “There are no fans, so it’s kind of like playing an exhibition game. ”

Rask’s absence has the potential to be important to the Bruins. The 33-year-old is Vezina’s finalist this season after posting a .929 save percentage in 41 games for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins. He also played a major role in Boston’s run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, posting a .934 save percentage and two shutouts in 24 playoff games.

With Rask coming out of the bubble, the Bruins will hand over the reins to Jaroslav Halak, who has been one of the league’s best alternate goaltenders for the past few seasons. This year, Rask and Halak combined to win the Jennings Trophy as the lowest-scoring goaltending tandem in the NHL.


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