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Tuukka's Trip

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins goalie Tukka Rask was kind enough to let tail him from the Washington to Boston to Belfast...

Wednesday, September 29th
On the plane frome Washington, DC to Boston
12:43 a.m.

"Good morning!"
Rask was asked about how much he packs for the road...
"Not too much. I like to have some space in my luggage, just in case you end up buying something. I just pack everything I need."

Tuukka talked about his traveling habits...
"I am used to traveling. I've traveled a lot when I played with the [Finnish] national teams and in juniors and I've been many places. Now we are going to Europe, where I am from, so, it's nothing new -- but it should be fun, though."

What's the first thing that Rask does when he gets to a destination...
"I just try and relax -- watch tv a little bit -- and get to know your bed. That's about it."

8:43 a.m.
TD Garden Parking Lot

Rask was asked if he had packed for Europe...
"No. No. I slept for six hours and barely got up from the bed.

At practice...
What's the day look like...
"Just a little practice right now. I'm not playing today, so I'll have plenty of time to pack during the day. I also try to have a bigger nap when I am not playing. If I am playing I might nap for an hour or so, but if I'm not playing (a little more)."

What type of meetings do the goalies have...
"Just before the game, we just go over a couple of things before the game. We have [full] team meetings. And that's it."

9:55 a.m.
Boston Bruins locker room, TD Garden

Rask talked about practice...
"Good! That was good this morning. It was fun. I had a little battle with the guys there, and had a quick skate, but [worked up] a good sweat. So it's good."

Plans for the rest of Wednesday...
"Have some lunch, then go pack. Maybe have a nap if I get time and then come back to the rink."

10:51 a.m.
Press Conference area inside TD Garden

After practice...
Rask on the Bruins annual Media Day...
"You know, it happens once a year and you just have to be ready for that...Obviously, it gets a little frustrating when you get asked the same questions 10-times in a row, but it's once a year for you guys, so it's good.

Tuukka talked about the occasions when he gets an interesting question...
"Yeah, it's funny when someone kind of surprises you. But in the end it really doesn't matter -- you just answer the questions the same way."

12:10 a.m.
Team Meal, Banners restaurant, TD Garden

"I never worry about calories ["He never worries about calories." yelled Johnny Boychuk]. But usually I get the same. Meat sauce with chicken, past and some salad."

Would he eat again for the game?
"This is the pregame (meal). There's some snacks, maybe a bagel, some yogurt."

Who does Rask chow down with usually?
Tuukka doesn't have to watch calories.
"We switch it up a little bit. Last year the Czechs and Slovaks, they had their own table -- Zee, Vlady, Krech. They like to speak the...language and hang out with their crew [laughs]. Thus far this year is different."

7:43 p.m.
Second Period, TD Garden

Rask was asked if he had finished packing -- finally.
"It went well. A half an hour. That's it. Two suits, a couple of shirts, a couple pairs of shoes -- that's it."

It was mentioned to Rask that the players are lucky to have their work clothes cleaned and laundered everyday...
"Yah that's true. So you just try to stay comfortable [off the rink], pack a couple of suits, so that's about all you need. I really appreciate the work that the trainers put in for you and it makes your job a lot easier."

How was Rask's afternoon?

"I just took some rest and laid down for a bit to watch a movie...just got ready for the trip and then I packed, obviously, and did my workout. Now I'll try and watch the game and learn something."

In the press box...
Players who don't play have to ride the stationary bike, right?
"Today it was like a half an hour lift. That's it. You know, during the season we ride the bike, but tonight was a workout."

Tuukka was wearing a warmup suit instead of his usual travel togs...

"We were just joking that we should do this all the time. It's really comfortable. But it's a long flight, so it's understandable to pack your suits, so you don't have to worry about wearing them on the plane and you can sleep a bit in these."

Does Rask sleep on flights?
"Long flights, I do. Usually our flights are so short we really don't get time to sleep, but you know, I think tonight is about five hours, so we'll get some sleep in."

On the flight over I watched a heated cribbage match. Is that a usual activity? Who is the cribbage champ?
"Cribbage, yeah. Right now it's me. But we didn't have Luch (Milan Lucic) with us last night, so it was just a three guy game. So, we'll see what happens tonight."

In the Players' Parking Lot
10:41 p.m.

To the airport...
Rask was about to get on the bus to the airport...
"It exciting, you know? We are going to be on the plane going to Belfast and we'll be there in a few hours to get this trip started."

On what he expects the trip to be like...
"It's going to be different. I really don't know what to expect there. It's going to be a great experience, but I've been in Europe many places -- I've been to Prague -- so I kind of know where to go, but in Belfast I have no idea. I've just gotta go out there and see..."

September 30
Baggage Pick Up
Belfast International Airport

11:10 a.m. (Belfast)

Long flight?
"Yeah, definitely. Not too much sleep [over the last 24-hours]...but we're here and we're ready to go. I slept the whole flight, so it was a short flight for me."

On the club going straight to practice...
"I think it's good just to go there and get your blood flowing. Get used to the time difference, because, you know, guys are tired, so if you go to sleep during the day, then you are all messed up. So it's good to get out there, then have a team dinner."

How does Tuukka feel after at this point in camp?
"Well, I feel pretty good right now, (with) a couple of decent games there you know, and I feel like I am ready to go. But we still have two preseason games left, and you know maybe I'll have some game time in those and be ready to go when the season starts."

How does Rask deal with jet lag?
"I just try to get right into it. I switched my time on my clocks back in Boston already and try to just live the time right away and kind of be in the schedule. Because if you are living the Boston time here (in Belfast) you're all messed up, so I try to get on the time and not sleep during the day. "
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