Julien upbeat about a Manny happy return

Fernandez

Fernandez

BOSTON — While Boston Bruins rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask was great in his NHL season debut today in a 1-o win over the New York Rangers at TD Banknorth Garden, it would seem his stint at the game’s highest level could be short-lived.

After the game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien elaborated on the situation with ailing netminder Manny Fernandez and sounded optimistic that his two-headed goaltending monster of Fernandez and Tim Thomas would be unleashed again soon.

“Manny’s very close. He skated today. I guess the prediction here is that he should be on the ice with us Monday with the whole team and ready to go,” Julien said. ‘Things are really looking up and he’s feeling extremely good. He felt great today.

“And as I mentioned, there were two reasons behind our process here. It was to give Manny an opportunity to come back at 100 percent because he’s been that good for us when he is 100 percent. And at the same time, it was an opportunity to see Tuukka come up here and practice with the team and get himself a game.”

So barring any setbacks, Rask should be ticketed back to Providence (AHL) once the team returns from Montreal, where it plays a matinee Sunday.

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