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What to Make of Tuukka Rask’s Injury

We hope his season isn’t finn-ished (no time for puns), but we do hope he is back soon.

Boston Bruins v Nashville Predators Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

When the whistle blew and cameras showed #40 down in the Bruins crease, fans of the Black and Gold across New England cringed and sulked. Despite Zane McIntyre’s 10-0 performance in Providence in December, there wasn’t much reason for hope with backup goaltending. Tuukka Rask has been the cornerstone of Bruins success this season, going 21-9-3, the 21 wins good enough for third in the NHL, 1.95 GAA good enough, again, for third in the NHL, and tied for the league lead with five shutouts, along with Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk and Washington’s Braden Holtby.

Rask has reportedly said that he is going to be OK after taking that shot to his neck/collarbone area, while coach Claude Julien told members of the media that, “we’ll see moving forward how he does.” For the team’s sake, we hope it was a stinger that caught soft tissue that keeps him out a few games rather than a broken collarbone that keeps him out quite a few weeks, but regardless, the Bruins have to have some form of a backup plan. What could they do?

Zane McIntyre

Of course the easiest and first option is to have McIntyre be the starting net minder for now. While he doesn’t have a win in the NHL this season, he probably could have earned one last night with the way he stepped in for Tuukka. He should get one soon, and already in house, he’ll take the reps as they need him to.

Jaroslav Halak

Remember when he got put on waivers and sent to the AHL? Coming to Boston and filling in for however long Rask is out would be the either the best way to show that he can still be a reliable NHL goalie or a terrible mistake resulting in misery for both sides. Regardless, it’s a risk the team has to consider as an experienced NHL goaltender. The biggest problem is actually getting him here, as his cap hit of $4.5 million is other worldly, and with the value Halak is currently at, it’s tough to justify getting rid of enough money to make sure he keeps the Bruins under the ceiling.

Ondrej Pavelec

Another case of a former starting goalie relegated to the minors with a fairly high cap hit. Halak might be the better option, but with a cap hit of slightly less value, $3.9 million, it wouldn't take much movement to free up the neccesary space to get Pavelec. Understandably, the team should have some room to the ceiling to make moves closer to the deadline but this is also why the team has room now, and can certainly clear some with whatever trades they may make in the near future.