I really want to tell you about what Tuukka Rask said to the media the other day and maybe what Zdeno Chara said as well. However, I have big news regarding the IW/ GH household: we’ve met a dog named Boomer, he’s a chill cutie, and we’ve decided that we’re going to adopt him. If you’re curious about who he is, here is his adoption profile.
Okay, right, back to business. Basically, Tuukka told the press that he’s doing his best to stay in shape and that The Pause allows him to spend a lot of time with his family that he hasn’t been able to spend with them, especially when the season is extended through long playoff runs.
“It’s been so kind of weird times now that I’ve kind of put full focus on my family at this time and just tried to enjoy that. But you know, like last summer was very short, and the past two seasons combined together almost, it felt like.
“I’ve used this time off to get my mind off hockey and focus on family because we travel a lot and it gets taxing mentally sometimes to be away from your family. So I’ve tried to refocus my energy to the family and try to be present here at home.”
And of course, the talk turned to how much longer Tuukka would like to play. With his contract expiring at the end of the 2020-2021 season, this is an important consideration for the 33 year old netminder to make. Well, Tuukka currently has no plans to retire, yet. As any athlete will say, they will know when it’s time for them to leave the game and that is driven by a desire to play and a want to win.
“I think a lot of it has to do with how much you wanna keep playing, is your body healthy, and do you have that passion for the game still?” Rask offered. “Those are the questions you kind of think [of]. it’s not necessarily 40, or 36 or whatever. You’ll play as long as you can and your body feels healthy and you wanna keep doing it.
But whenever that drives slow down, then you gotta revisit it, ‘Hey is this really still something I wanna do?’ So far, I still have that passion of winning and playing, and that drives me. The winning drives me.”
So, Tuukka will play for as long as he wants to. Whether or not it’s with the Bruins, we’ll have to see.
Tuukka was stoked that Jaroslav Halak re-signed last week.
“We’ve had the plan in place for a few years now. We don’t want me playing 60-70 games,” said Rask, who was 26-8-6 in 41 games played at the time of the NHL’s pause. “I think if you look at my career, probably, I’ve played my best when there’s a 1A, 1B situation and both goalies have gotten playing time and you’re fresh going into the playoffs. It’s gone well for me personally and also for the team it’s been very beneficial.
“Super happy that Jaro signed for another year and we can keep the ball rolling that way. And also from the organization, [Bruins general manager Don Sweeney] has always talked to me that we set this plan up and we stick with it and it’s been working.
“Jaro texting me last week and told me he signed, and I couldn’t be happier. It will be fun with him for another year. We get along super well.”
Finally, Tuukka might be the only NHL player who doesn’t care if play resumes without fans. It’s not because he hates the fans but more that it would be a limited amount of people around the ice allowing the players to celebrate without being pulled in every direction.
“Well, that’s a tough question to answer,” Rask said. “I guess it definitely would be different, but then again that’s the closest group you have accomplished the goal out there with you, so then I think it also would be pretty awesome. There would be no extra hassle, it would just be your teammates, because whenever you win something like that there’s the video crews, the fans, the media and everybody gets ripped in a different direction and you can’t really be together as a group. “So I guess in this situation you would just be with your teammates and you would be able to celebrate even more. So, different with no fans obviously, but I guess I try to be a glass half full type of guy, so I say it would be pretty cool.”
So, Tuukka is okay with it.
We’ll talk about Chara tomorrow.