Tuukka Rask had a decent 2016-17 season for the Boston Bruins. Although hampered by several injuries throughout the year, the 30-year old Rask went 37-20-5 (37 wins being his personal best) in Boston with a 2.23 GAA and a .915 save percentage. He was also a key player in the B’s having the best penalty kill (85.7%) last season.
While Rask was one of the main reasons the Bruins found themselves back in the playoffs, it wasn’t his strongest season with the Black and Gold.
Rask’s offseason started out rough. On May 9, Rask had to undergo surgery to repair an injury to his groin. Since the surgery, Rask has spent the last three months going through the rehabilitation process.
Last week, the Finnish netminder was snubbed by the NHL Network when they excluded him from the list of Top 10 goaltenders. (Personally, I had him at # 5 on my list, and I’m sure many of you had him at that position or higher.)
With his rehabilitation nearly complete, the Bruins number one goaltender is looking forward to resuming skating. He’s expected to be back on the ice next week in preparation for training camp next month. Overall, Rask feels he’s on schedule with his recovery. He also thinks he is ready for camp.
“I’m 100 percent [certain],” said Rask when asked about his readiness for training camp on Monday. Rask was one of the Bruins participating in Shawn Thornton’s Putts and Punches for Parkinson’s golf tournament.
“It’s pretty standard, standard procedure and rehab,” said Rask of his recovery. “I think I [did it] the first three, four weeks here and then after that, 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 believes the surgery will not only resolve the pain issues that hampered him last season but will make him a better goaltender going forward. Rask has proven in the past that he can play with the best goaltenders in the league. He won the Vezina Trophy for his work in the 2013-14 season.
Rask has been pushed hard by the Bruins these last few seasons. While Rask has responded well to the challenge, he often found himself without much rest due to inconsistent help from his backup goaltenders. Hopefully, Anton Khudobin will have a stronger start in the upcoming season.