BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Bruins starting goaltender Tuukka Rask has opted out of the rest of the 2020 NHL postseason, the team has confirmed.
Rask made the announcement Saturday, just hours before the Bruins were set to face off against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the quarterfinal series, which Boston won 3-1.
"I want to be with my teammates competing," said Rask in a statement, "but at this moment there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family."
Rask thanked the Bruins and his teammates for their support, and wished them success in the remainder of the postseason.
According to ESPN, after Game 2 against the Hurricanes on Thursday, Rask told reporters he did not feel like it had been a playoff game.
"You're trying to play as hard as you can ... But when you play at your home rink, you play at an away rink, and there's fans cheering for you or against you ... that creates another buzz around the series," said Rask. "There's none of that, so it just feels dull at times... There might be five minutes and it's just coast-to-coast hockey and there's no atmosphere. It just feels like an exhibition game."
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said the team understands Rask's decision.
"I don't think it's any big surprise to us, to be honest," Sweeney told ESPN. "We were privy to some information before the rest of the public. This has been a difficult decision for Tuukka. But the Boston Bruins are in full support of why he made this decision."
Rask's family is safe and healthy, but with a newborn and two other young girls, Sweeney said "it's been challenging" for the goalie.
"It's nothing specific," said Sweeney. "Fortunately, his family is healthy. To have their dad back to be around on a regular basis is exactly what Tuukka needs to do at this point in time."
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