The Boston Bruins kept things short and sweet in a press release today, as GM Don Sweeney announced that both Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask underwent successful surgery over the past two days. Barring any unforeseen complications, both players are expected to make full recoveries and be ready for the start of the 2017-18 season.
Unlike defenseman Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo, and Adam McQuaid, whose injuries kept them out for the first round of the playoffs and seemed like the likely cause of the Bruins collapse at the hand of the Ottawa Senators, both Bergeron and Rask played through their ailments in the six-game series. It was revealed that Bergeron not only played through his injury, a sports hernia, for the postseason but the entire regular season as well. The Bruins’ alternate captain and perennial Selke candidate is no stranger to playing through pain; he memorably skated in Game Six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final with a punctured lung. Rask is a different case, as he his physical and mental toughness has often been questioned by skeptics of the Boston keeper’s ability. Some minds may be changed after they find out that Rask played through a groin tear, perhaps the most taxing injury for a goalie, in the playoffs and still managed to post a .920 save percentage and 2.24 goals against average.
Luckily, both Bergeron and Rask – as well as half the defense – are on their way to health and should be ready to go for next season. Although Rask won a career-high 37 games, including a career-best and 2nd-best in the league 8 shutouts, and Bergeron scored 53 points, led the league in face-off wins, and was named a Selke finalist yet again, it was actually a down year for both players. Rask, the 2013-14 Vezina Trophy winner and the current holder of the best career save percentage all-time was streaky this season and helped him to finish a second straight season with an uninspiring .915 save percentage. Bergeron, who has the best Expected +/- all-time was just +12 on the year, third on the Bruins and outside the top 50 in the NHL. He also saw a drop off in goals from 32 in 2015-16 to just 21 in 2016-17 and with it a slight decrease in five-on-five and power play ice-time. Certainly neither player was disappointing this past season, but at full strength they can be better and the Bruins can build on their success this season with another impressive effort in 2017-18.