Tuukka Rask won’t make the trip to Buffalo

Tuukka Rask (right) backstopped the Finnish team to the bronze medal in Sochi.
Tuukka Rask (right) backstopped the Finnish team to the bronze medal in Sochi.

There was no sign of forwards Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson or goaltender Tuukka Rask at Bruins practice Tuesday at TD Garden.

But Bergeron, who won a gold medal with Team Canada at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and Eriksson, who won silver with Team Sweden, were scheduled to join the Bruins in time for their flight to Buffalo and are expected to play against the Sabres Wednesday night.

Rask, who won bronze with Team Finland, will not make the trip. He is scheduled to do an off-ice workout Wednesday and resume practice Thursday with the team at Ristuccia Arena.


“We’re going to use [Chad] Johnson , and [Niklas] Svedberg will back him up, so we left Tuukka behind,’’ said coach Claude Julien, who was back at practice for the first time since helping Team Canada to a gold medal as an assistant coach.

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“Those guys handled it well, the way they got their rest. Like everybody else, I think I was in bed by 8 or 8:30 yesterday. I had a real good night’s sleep. I think Loui said the same thing. It’s going to take a little while.

“[Zdeno Chara and David Krejci] got back Thursday and we gave them until Monday. If they need more, I’ll give them more.’’

Julien senses, however, that his players want to jump right back into the mix as the NHL schedule resumes.

“The players want to play, it’s hard to take them out of games,’’ said the coach. “We’ve got some practice days and those guys can skate the morning of the games. I’m going to find ways to give them their rest and at the end of the day, everything is going to be OK.’’


One of the top performers for Canada was Bergeron, who wound up playing on Sidney Crosby’s line as the tournament moved along. He proved to the world what everyone around Boston has known for years.

“He was one of our best players and I’m not afraid to say that,’’ said Julien. “His line in that first game with [Jamie] Benn and [John] Tavares was probably our best line. He was playing so well he ended up moving up on the Crosby line and basically brought some good stability to that line.

“He made a lot of highlight clips in our reviews just by how hard he worked, defensively and offensively. He’s such a complete player.

“It’s nice to see that he was seen that same way on a bigger stage. Now there’s no doubt in my mind that everybody knows how good he is. Sid loves playing with him. He has a great appreciation for Bergie.’’

As for Eriksson, Julien is hoping he can use his fine performance for his native land as a springboard to a very productive stretch run.


“Loui was also one of [Sweden’s] best players,’’ said Julien. “He played on the top line. He did a great job.

“When we left here, I really enjoyed Loui’s progression from his last injury and it was great. Going to Sochi and seeing him play, he was even better there.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him back in our lineup. If he picks up where he left off over there, I think we’re going to get a pretty good idea of what he’s capable of bringing. That was a good thing for him.

“Our players represented [the Bruins] extremely well. I’m really proud of them.’’

McQuaid is close

Defenseman Adam McQuaid continues to make progress from his lower-body injury. Julien lists him as doubtful for Wednesday, but he could return as soon as Saturday when the Bruins host the Capitals . “He’s really close,’’ said Julien. “[Buffalo] is a borderline decision. If things keep going well, by the weekend, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we really should have the real good news.’’

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Elle1027.