MIDDLETON, MA—Tuukka Rask, goalie for the Boston Bruins, underwent surgery in May after sustaining a right groin injury earlier last season. On Monday, August 14, the Savonlinna, Finland native shared that he is “100 percent” ready to hit the ice again when training camp starts.
The 30 year-old, who stands 6 feet and 3 inches tall and weighs 176 pounds, sat out for three consecutive games last October after sustaining the injury, though he managed to finish the season with a 30-27-5 record, 2.23 goals against average (GAA), and a .915 save percentage (S%) in 65 games. He appeared in all six games during Boston’s playoff run this season against the Ottawa Senators (by whom they were eliminated in the first round of the Eastern Conference Finals) and posted a 2.24 GAA and a .92 S%.
After the Bruins’ season ended, Rask and team trainers tended to the injury immensely to prevent further complications.
“If you feel 100 percent healthy and you feel like you can do everything you want to do, I think that’s a goal for me and everybody else,” said Rask, who indicated he will strive to improve his game for the 2017-2018 season.
Rask’s surgery (which was successful) was performed by Dr. Peter Asnis on May 9. Teammate and Bruins alternate captain Patrice Bergeron underwent a sports hernia repair the day before, which was also successful.
After three to four weeks of following the rehabilitation protocol, Rask was able to return to his day-to-day activities, citing, “you’re more kind of free to do your normal workouts, so I went back home and now I’m here and I’ll start skating here. Not a whole lot different from my usual routine. It’s like anything. If something’s like bugging you all the time it gets in your head and you’re kind of cautious about it, so it’s good to hopefully get back on the ice and don’t feel anything anywhere.”
Rask also spoke fondly of his backup netminder, Anton Khudobin, who posted a six-game winning streak last season beginning on February 11. Malcom Subban and Zane McIntyre are also expected to compete for the position.
“I think we have a great situation going. Khudobin showed that when he got going towards the end of the year he played some very good games and won some big games for us. I think he’s deserved a spot and… many years we’ve been talking about the same thing and it’s tough when you’re kind of like the backup goalie and you don’t have the full confidence from your coach and you just get thrown in there every once in a while, you don’t get in a rhythm. So it’s very difficult and I’ve been there, I know what it is.”
“For me, playing less games would also benefit the other guy because then he would get in a rhythm and that would benefit our team. Because if anything happens to anybody you’ve got to have three or four good goalies that can play. We’ve seen that before too,” he added.
Rask was initially selected 21st overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2005, who traded him to Boston for goalie Andrew Raycroft. Before the NHL, he played three seasons with Ilves in Liiga (the Finnish Elite League). Upon signing a three year deal with Boston in 2007, he played for the Providence Bruins of the AHL during his first two seasons (he was called up to four Bruins games in 2007-2008 and one in 2008-2009).