By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask reportedly opted out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the National Hockey League’s Return to Play in Toronto due to a family emergency, according to WEEI’s Greg Hill. Per Hill, Rask said he had received a call from his wife about a medical emergency for one his daughters, and rushed to be with his family.
On Sunday, Dale Arnold of NESN and WEEI said that Rask had texted him saying there was a family emergency he had to deal with, but that things are fine now.
“He texted me back and I asked specifically if I could share this part of what he said to me and he said you can. The fact of the matter is he said to me there was a family emergency,” Arnold said.
“He went on to say everything is fine now, but there was a family emergency and he felt he needed to be back with his family.”
News of the Finnish netminder’s decision to return home broke on Saturday morning prior to Game 3 between the Bruins and the Hurricanes. In a statement, Rask said, “there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family.”
So far, Bruins management and Rask’s teammates have supported his decision.
“It makes me upset sometimes how badly [Rask] gets trashed for that. People aren’t in the bubble with us,” Bruins forward Chris Wagner told WBZ’s Dan Roche. “They’re not away from their families for months at a time.”
“Obviously we’re supporting him. We’re behind him and we understand,” Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron said in his media availability after Game 3 on Saturday. “Family comes first. We’ve always said that.”
The 33-year-old is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, annually awarded to the league’s top goaltender as voted on by the general managers. He concluded the 2019-20 regular season with a 28-5-6 record to go along with five shutouts, second in the league, a 2.12 goals-against average (GAA), first in the league, and a .929 save percentage, second in the league. Rask split the William M. Jennings Trophy with fellow Bruins netminder Jaroslav Halak as the two led the Bruins to the fewest goals-allowed among any team in the league.
In the league’s return to play, Rask posted a 1-3-0 record in four games, recording a 2.57 GAA and a .904 save percentage.