In a shocking decision, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask of Savonlinna, Finland has decided to pull out of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The reason for his decision is related to family reasons according to Christine Rankin of CBC Sports.
Rask had been the Bruins goaltender for the first two games of their Eastern Conference first round series against the Carolina Hurricanes. He gave up three goals in each contest. In game one, the Bruins won 4-3 on August 12 in double overtime. The second game was on August 13, and won by the Hurricanes 3-2.
The Bruins and Hurricanes continued their first round playoff series on Saturday at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, and it was the Bruins that came away with a 3-1 win to take a 2-1 lead in their best out of seven series. The Bruins will now rely on Jaroslav Halak of Bratislava, Slovakia as their primary netminder. On Saturday, Halak was steady as he made 29 saves in the two-goal Boston win.
Halak has a wealth of playoff experience and could be considered the best backup goaltender in the entire National Hockey League. The two-time Jennings Trophy winner has now played in 32 career playoff games with the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins.
In the 2009-10 National Hockey League season, Halak took over the starting job from Carey Price, who had struggled throughout the regular season. In the playoffs, Halak was brilliant as the Canadiens stunned the Washington Capitals in seven games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, and then helped the Canadiens reach the Eastern Conference Finals after they knocked out the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in another dramatic seven game series in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Halak’s best game in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs came in game six against the Capitals, a 4-1 Montreal win. Halak made 53 saves on 54 shot attempts.