– After a five-week hiatus and a handful of individual skates, Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask
joined the team for practice at Ristuccia Memorial Arena Monday.
Rask, who’s been sidelined with an abdominal strain, said he felt good on the ice.
“It was good to get back on the ice with the guys and stop some shots,” Rask said. “I mean you don’t want to go out and hurt it again obviously in the first practice. [But] I pretty much did everything I wanted to so it was a good day.”
While off the ice, Rask said he’s had plenty of time to stay mentally sharp. However, he admitted that he missed being with the team, and he was excited to be back.
“Yeah, you know it’s not easy,” Rask said. “Obviously, it’s been a tough five weeks and a couple of more days – you know it’s just to stay out and not be able to go out with the guys and go on the road and stuff. So it’s tough to not be pushing it too much, and just being patient.”
Not only was Rask excited to be with his teammates, but also he said that it was nice to have some time away from the grueling workouts administered by strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides.
“Yeah I’ve had some good battles with him on and off the ice so it was good to get a break from him,” Rask joked.
But on a more serious note, Rask was confident to be back on the ice for practice, and re-injuring himself was merely an afterthought.
“I just try to stop every puck,” Rask said. “That’s what it is, no matter how you do it.”Boychuk Returns, Too
After Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk
watched the replay of his collision with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Arron Asham, he was happy to have escaped with only the knee sprain.
“I actually saw the replay afterwards and it looked pretty bad,” Boychuk said. “But thankfully it’s not anything more than a sprain.
“When you’re on the ice and you’ve never felt that feeling before, you don’t really want to get up and then what if it was bad, and I made it worse by getting up. That was the first reaction when I was on the ice.”
That said, Boychuk was most excited he was able to fully participate in the Bruins practice Monday.
“I felt good out there, I just wanted to get back and see how it felt,” Boychuk said. “There really wasn’t any limitations. I went on the ice a little bit yesterday and it was a little sore so I tried it out today – I got a nice knee brace so it felt better.”
Asked if he’d be able to be on the ice Thursday for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals, Boychuk reiterated the smart, cautious approach.
“We’ll see how it feels everyday,” Boychuk said. “The main thing is to just come back 100 percent and get your rest.”