When the news broke that Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was opting out of the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs shortly before Game 3 against the ‘Canes, I — like everyone — was a little shocked.
But then I started to think. Why might the winningest goaltender in Bruins history just up and leave after two postseason games? It was a question so painful to ask one’s self before the news broke that the plethora of possibilities – most of them obvious – hadn’t even occurred to me. But alas, there are many reasons Rask may have opted out. Here are a few:
1. He saw your mean tweets. They hurt his feelings. Way to go.
3. He’s scared of playing in “Big Games” – nevermind the fact that he carried the Bruins to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last year, posting a .953 save percentage with two shutouts in elimination/close out games last postseason.
4. He listened to Episode 23 of the Brews and Bruins Podcast (presented by Bruins Diehards) and, as an astute countryman, re-discovered his true calling: Pesäpallo (A.K.A. Finnish baseball). He’s now headed back to the motherland to zig-zag the bases or jump into rivers or whatever it is they do in Finnish baseball (I’m honestly still not sure but all I know is that it’s absolutely electric). What a patriot.
5. He’s off to promote the adult beverage he co-owns. It’s called the Finnish Long Drink, not the Finnish Short Drink. It’s time-consuming. (Shoutout Chris again)
6. To spite you. Yes, you – the one reading this. Tuukka knows you — and more importantly — he knows what you’ve done. Consider yourself lucky that this is the only punishment.
7. Lars Ulrich broke his hand, so Tuukka was asked to fill in on the recording of Metallica’s upcoming album (stop sending me good ideas, Chris).
8. Because, in the words of Alfred from The Dark Knight, “some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Or, maybe – and this one is way out of left field – his wife just gave birth to a newborn child, and he wants to be with his family while there’s a literal pandemic going on. Sports are the most important of the least important things. To fault a guy for wanting to be with his family in times like these — as opposed to potentially spending months away from them during a significant public health crisis that has spiralled well out of control in the United States — is foolish. Athletes are humans. Tuukka Rask is no exception, despite what your uncle says on Facebook.