It looks like the Boston Bruins may get back goaltender Tuukka Rask on Tuesday after he was granted a leave of absence on Thursday for personal reasons, according to NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin. The scribe writes that the team will talk to the veteran Monday with the hopes of his return immediately thereafter, but nothing is confirmed until then.
Rask has struggled all season before requesting a leave of absence as the veteran has a 3.05 GAA and a .901 save percentage in eight appearances, not the numbers that a player making $7MM. While the Bruins have kept Rask’s reason for the request silent, the hope is that a break may be able to help him re-focus on the season.
The Bruins have been fortunate to have signed Jaroslav Halak, who has been impressive and looks to have seized the starting job away from the struggling Rask. Halak has a 1.86 GAA and a .941 save percentage in 10 appearances. He stopped 40 of 41 shots in Saturday’s victory over Toronto and without Rask on hand, is expected to play back-to-back against Vegas today.
- Benjamin also reports that Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said that defenseman Kevan Miller could return by the end of the team’s four-game road trip that starts on Wednesday. Miller hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 18 with an undisclosed injury.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning finds itself thrilled with the constant improvements of rookie forward Mathieu Joseph, who after going scoreless in 13 straight games, broke through to have scored four goals in the last four games, according to The Athletic’s Greg Auman (subscription required). The surprising thing is that after 13 scoreless games, the deep Lightning team continued to play him. “My thing with that is if you’re doing all the right things and you’re getting chances and chances and chances, eventually they’re going to go in,” head coach Jon Cooper said. “So there are probably plays he made that should have gone in the net but didn’t, and all of a sudden, plays that maybe don’t go in the net do. That’s just the way it works. He got rewarded tonight. I’m a big believer that if you keep putting yourself in the right position, good things are going to happen.”
- The Ottawa Senators got a nice piece of news today as center Jean-Gabriel Pageau was seen taking the ice alongside defenseman Ben Harpur and forward Zack Smith, according to TSN’s Todd White. It was reported that Pageau, who suffered a torn Achilles on Sept. 13, would miss six months, however, Pageau has made remarkable progress. While skating is just one step on his way to a full recovery, it’s a good sign to see him back on the ice. Head coach Guy Boucher said that even the medical staff has been impressed by his recovery, although he’s still a long ways off.