It’s too early for a true post-mortem. The body of the 2021 Boston Bruins is barely cold and the rigor mortis has begun to set in. We have to wait for this corpse to relax before we begin the examination which will come in form of break up day and getting a clearer, well uh, less cloudy idea of where the B’s stand. Right now, nothing looks good.
First up: trying to figure out what will happen with UFAs Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, and Taylor Hall. Of course, none of these guys should they want to sign/ re-sign will be able to do so until after the Seattle Expansion Draft on July 21. But let’s start today by talking about Tuukka.
We all know that Tuukka turned out to have an injury that limited him to 24 games and saw him miss over a month of time during the regular season. At times when asked, Bruce Cassidy claimed that the injury wasn’t responding to treatment as well as they had hoped, which set off some red flags regarding the nature of the injury which is assumed to be a back injury. After Wednesday nights Game 6 series-ending loss, Tuukka didn’t want to make his injury the headline.
Rask wouldn’t disclose the nature of his ailments after the Bruins’ 6-2 loss to the Islanders in Game 6 on Wednesday night, which eliminated Boston from the playoffs. “I don’t think that needs to be the headline now,” said the goalie, who stopped 23 of 27 shots in the loss.
Rask was pulled after two periods in Boston’s Game 5 loss on Monday night, with coach Bruce Cassidy saying “there was some maintenance that needed to be done” and that Rask “wasn’t himself.”
Tuukka also may need surgery.
Tuukka Rask said that surgery could be a possibility this offseason.
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) June 10, 2021
I suspect that he had some kind of herniated disc, a troublesome issue that can sometimes resolve itself on it’s own but often needs surgery to relieve the pain and occasional limb numbness that comes from the compression in the spinal column. While activity rather than sedentary measures are suggested to alleviate the pain, athletes can often injure themselves more with the repetitive motions their jobs require. Like I said, I suspect this could be the issue. Of course, it could be far worse: Nathan Horton managed to only play 36 games of his seven-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets before he was diagnosed with a degenerative back injury that forced an end to his career and threatened his quality of life.
Tuukka isn’t saying anything about his future right now and that’s understandable. He has stated his desire to play and to remain with the Bruins as recently as this past offseason. He and his agent decided to play through the season before talking about a new deal. But all of this depends upon whether or not he can recover from this injury with surgery or not, whether or not the Bruins want to bring him back, and if he actually wants to play or retire.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.