Tuukka Rask did not practice with the Boston Bruins on Saturday because he “wasn’t feeling well,” and his status for their round-robin opener against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday is to be determined.
“He wasn’t feeling well, so ‘unfit to participate’ today,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I’m sure the follow-up question [is], ‘Will he start [Sunday]?’ I’ll have to talk to Tuukka later, see where he’s at. So, if not, [Jaroslav Halak] will be ready to go.”
The Bruins planned on starting Rask in their first game of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Flyers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS). They also play the Tampa Bay Lightning (Wednesday) and Washington Capitals (Aug. 9) to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Rask and Halak won the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals (167; 2.39 per game) in the NHL this season. Rask, who was 26-8-6 with a League-best 2.12 goals against average and .929 save percentage in 41 starts, is one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the goalie voted best in the NHL. Halak, who Cassidy previously said would play during the round-robin, was 18-6-6 with a 2.39 GAA and .919 save percentage in 31 games.
The goalies split time in a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in an exhibition game Thursday. Rask allowed three goals on 20 shots in 29:54, and Halak saved all 10 shots he faced in 28:50.
Brad Marchand was a full participant in practice on Saturday and is expected to play Sunday. The forward left with 11:40 remaining in the in the third period of the loss to the Blue Jackets. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.
“I would say the reason he left the other day won’t preclude him from playing tomorrow,” Cassidy said. “He looked fine. … Obviously, if there’s a lingering issue with an injury, then we keep an eye on it. But I think he’s going to be 100 percent ready to go and play whatever’s asked of him.”
Forward Ondrej Kase, who did not practice during training camp, skated with a smaller group of teammates Saturday, after arriving in Toronto on Friday.
Cassidy said Kase — along with forward Nick Ritchie, who skated in both sessions — would not play Sunday.
“They’re both back on the ice and we’ll make a decision on Wednesday as we get closer to that game [against the Lightning], see how they do with us on Monday and Tuesday practice,” Cassidy said.