BOSTON, MA— While his team headed West for a three-game road trip in California, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask remained in Boston to recover from injury.
However, on Wednesday Rask went to Massachusetts General Hospital in order to visit with pediatric patients and lift their spirits as he traveled room-to-room to spend time with each child and their families.
Since suffering his injury, Rask has put together a string of visits in order to fill his down time with community events and help keep his own attitude positive.
“I think that was the whole point of it," said Rask. "First - just to see the kids, and also to keep me busy, too.
“It really has helped a lot. We have one more [Friday] and then I’m going to take a break, but it’s been a lot of fun.”
Last week, Rask made similar visits to Children’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to befriend pediatric patients. The impact of visits such as these are not lost on the hospital staff, who witness a fun and exciting day for the kids any time a player visits the ward.
Heather Peach, Child Life Specialist at Mass General Hospital for Children Cancer center, commented on how special these days are for kids who are staying at the hospital.
“I think it brings such a happiness to the children and families who are here,” Peach said. “Some of the children and families might be here for a short period of time, a day or two, and others might be here very long term - I think it helps to have something special and being able to bring them a little bit of happiness”
To the delight of the patients, Rask brought goodie bags and signed autographs on their Bruins gear, including two goalie sticks that were brought in by the patients in anticipation of his visit.
Rask also chatted hockey with a few of the kids and met a few diehard B's fans in his travels.
But hockey fan or not, the patients were excited to get a break from their daily routine to meet with someone who brought smiles and gifts into their hospital rooms.
“A lot of the kids here are huge Boston sports fans, huge Boston Bruins fans,” Peach said. “So by having someone come in and really be with them and be with them in that moment, I think is just great.”