BOSTON — Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice after the Bruins’ morning skate today at TD Garden, which indicates he’ll probably get the start tonight against the lowly New York Islanders.
Along with rookie defenseman Steve Kampfer replacing the injured Mark Stuart, Rask should be one of two tweaks to Boston’s lineup since Tuesday night’s win over Buffalo.
Rask hasn’t played since his loss at Atlanta Nov. 28. The stretch of four games without a start matches his longest stretch without being in the opening lineup, done twice previously. So is he getting better at staying sharp in between starts while Tim Thomas continues to put together a Vezina Trophy-winning resume?
“I don’t know. Maybe,” Rask said.
The key for Rask might be showing up to the arena every game day and acting as though he’s going to get the start.
“Nothing. Just focus on the game like it’s a game every night,” he said. “And be ready, have fun and stay positive. That’s about it.”
Kampfer said he didn’t fall asleep until around 3 a.m. last night and woke up at 8 this morning, so he was a little weary at the skate. But he was hoping a solid afternoon nap would have him re-energized for his NHL debut. Another way he prepared was by speaking with his former Michigan teammate and ex-Bruins blueliner Matt Hunwick.
“I talked to Matt last night,” said Kampfer. “I was watching clips on him. I was telling him that they wanted me to watch him and see how he played. We both wished each other the best of luck and it was good.”