Some fans got nervous when the Boston Bruins signed goaltender Daniel Vladar to a contract extension in the middle of Sunday’s game.
And then, it hit them:
He has been told to prepare like he’ll make his NHL debut against the Tampa Bay Lightning in this second-round series.
That’s because the Bruins didn’t think this would be coming once Tuukka Rask decided to leave the bubble in Toronto to be with his family back in Boston. But the Bruins are facing a compressed schedule in the second round against the Bolts and will play two sets of back-to-backs if their best-of-seven goes the distance.
The Bruins might therefore be forced to make stunning lineup changes, starting with putting Vladar in between the pipes. Jaroslav Halak is in goal for Game 2 on Tuesday night, but the 23-year-old who played well in 25 American Hockey League games this season, could be the starter for Game 3 on Wednesday.
“Sometimes you’ve got to look at your lineup and say, ‘OK, do we have the luxury of making any changes and how will it affect us? How does it affect the group throwing another guy in there?”’ said head coach Bruce Cassidy, per Sportsnet. “At the end of the day I think it’ll be a decision we probably make Wednesday morning after we sort through the game on Tuesday and see where Jaro’s at physically.
“And have Danny prepared Tuesday night. Just say ‘Hey, you’ve got to prepare like you’re going in the net.”’
This is of course a major downfall from losing Rask during the first round. 35-year-old Halak has only started on back-to-back nights twice in the last two seasons and could be on the bench to rest up for the rest of the postseason on Wednesday.
How good do you feel about this move?