Bruce Cassidy, Zdeno Chara react to Tuukka Rask's postgame comments

By WEEI 93.7

On the ice, Friday featured an optional, limited skate for the Bruins give the quick turnaround between Thursday night's Game 2 and Saturday afternoon's Game 3.

Off the ice, Friday featured a lot of discussion and questions about goalie Tuukka Rask's postgame comments after the Bruins' 3-2 Game 2 loss.

Rask said that he's "not stressing to much about results" and that these games don't "really feel like playoff hockey." You can read his full comments here or watch them in the video at the top of this post if you have somehow missed them.

Naturally, the Bruins who met with the media via Zoom Friday afternoon were asked about Rask's comments, including coach Bruce Cassidy and captain Zdeno Chara.

Cassidy said that it looks like playoff intensity on the ice to him, and that regardless of the environment, the Bruins are going to have to find a way to play their best hockey if they still want to accomplish their goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

"I didn't speak to him after his comments," Cassidy said. "Tuukka, I think the Boston media knows him well enough. He answers questions how he feels. It is a unique environment, but to me there's playoff intensity on the ice. You just have to control what you can control when you're a player, or in my situation, a coach.

"The way I look at it, at the end of the day, they're going to hand out the Stanley Cup to someone, so we have to play our best hockey if we want to be that team. That was our goal at the start of the year. We didn't anticipate it would end up in an environment like this, but here it is. You play the hand you're dealt. You prepare yourself, and in my case I prepare the team, in this case for Game 3 to play our best hockey game. That's what my focus is on right now, plain and simple."

Chara said he thinks Rask was just pointing out that it feels different than normal playoffs, which is obviously true given the lack of fans and lack of home-ice advantage, and that he doesn't think Rask meant anything bad by it.

"I think we all have to realize it’s an adjustment," Chara said. "It’s something completely new and none of us have ever experienced this. First of all Tuukka has his rights to express his kind of views and opinions. I don’t think he meant anything bad about it. He was just kind of being honest. It does feel a little bit different from other playoff experiences we’ve had, all of us have had in the playoffs with the fans and emotions. I think we just continue, going forward, making these adjustments and feeling more comfortable with the environment we are playing in right now."

There had been some thought that perhaps Jaroslav Halak would start in Rask's place in Game 3, either because of another quick turnaround between games (a legitimate concern) or even because of his comments (more of a media talking point than actual concern). Cassidy said he "anticipates" going back to Rask for a third straight game, though he also noted that he does think Rask still has another gear.

"He didn't skate today, but a lot of guys didn't," Cassidy said. "It'll be a quick turnaround, three games in, whatever it is, four and a half days, four days. We anticipate he'll start. His game yesterday, I thought there were some good goals, some good shots. Obviously those one-goal games, each goalie, they need to make the extra save somewhere along the way. We didn't get it, they did. The opposite was true the game before, we win a one-goal game. That's the way I look at it. Obviously I think his game can grow, like all of our games. ... We know he can play better. Hopefully we'll be better in front of him and he'll give us the extra save and it'll work in our favor."

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