With Bruce Cassidy telling the assembled media on Tuesday night that Tuukka Rask is concussed, it stands to reason that he’ll be out for a few games.
Given the fact that Rask has had concussions in the past and has also dealt with debilitating headache issues, it’s not unreasonable to assume that his absence could stretch through the upcoming All-Star break.
With that in mind, clearly the Bruins are going to need to call someone up to replace Rask, or to at least fill in as admirably as possible.
Unfortunately, Rask’s injury comes as Jaroslav Halak has hit a bit of a skid, so the call-up may be called upon sooner rather than later.
The Bruins have two real options in Providence, with one being far more likely than the other.
The 27-year-old has gotten the lion’s share of starts for Providence (23 starts in 40 games). He had an excellent start to the season, but has tailed off a bit as of late, echoing the struggles of Providence as a whole.
Lagace has just 2 wins in his last 5 games, though he won his last start, so...trending upward! On the season, Lagace has a 2.49 GAA and a save percentage of .915. He also has 5 shutouts.
Lagace has 17 NHL starts under his belt as well, all of them with the Vegas Golden Knights. In those NHL appearances, he has a 3.92 GAA and a .868 save percentage.
The 22-year-old Vladar has started 12 games on the season. He’s currently sporting a 1.84 GAA and a save percentage of .935; it’s worth noting that both of those numbers are better than Lagace’s, but he’s also started about half the games.
Like Lagace, Vladar has won just 2 of his last 5 starts. However, like Lagace, he won his last one, so...again, trending up!
Vladar has never made an NHL start.
Not to be negative, but neither of these is a particularly great replacement for Rask. In all likelihood, the Bruins are going to require Halak to make at least a couple of starts in a row before turning to the back-up.
My guess is that Lagace gets the nod, but there’s a chance that the Bruins give it to Vladar instead. He’s younger, and has more potential to be a “future” guy than Lagace.
Still, at this point, it’s not really about giving experience to youngsters. It’s about staying afloat while Rask is out.
If nothing else, Rask’s injury kind of lays out the fact that the Bruins’ goalie cupboard is pretty bare. Kyle Keyser and Jeremy Swayman may be waiting in the wings, but those wings look pretty far away at this point.