It had been just over two weeks since Tuukka Rask retired from the rest of the Bruins Bruins playoffs for family reasons, coach Bruce Cassidy reiterated his support but then opened more than he did. had made on the impact of losing their finalist goalie to Vezina.
“We fully support Tuukka’s decision. But as we get down to business, of course it’s going to affect us, ”Cassidy admitted before her team was knocked out by Tampa Bay on Monday. “He is a finalist for the Vézina Trophy, one of the elite goalkeepers in this league. Jaro (Halak), we think if he’s not the best substitute in the league, he’s up there. But now he’s pushed to number one and you have Danny Vladar coming in pushed to number two who just has no NHL experience. It affects you mentally.
Cassidy said not having two experienced goalies limited her options.
“It affects the way you build your alignment when you have these back to backs,” he said. “Previously we would have just rolled Tuukka and Halak and maybe put Tuukka back like we did due to the circumstances of the start of the game and the lack of travel. You still have the luxury of doing it, no questions asked. With Dan, you have to think about it. It is a difficult place for him to enter. We saw him when he had to come in in the middle of a game.
Cassidy said the timing of such a big change must affect the players’ confidence in the squad.
“Do you think you have all the coins to gain?” You have to ask the players. I always do. I’m optimistic, ”Cassidy said. I’ve seen Jaro do a lot of good hockey. It’s definitely a hard-hitting position that we felt we had as good a tandem as anyone in the league. And then moving forward into the playoffs, we lost a bit of that advantage. So you have to overcome it in other ways.
Halak, who struggled in Games 3 and 4, made 32 saves in the double-overtime loss to keep the Bruins in the game.