The Boston Bruins embarked on a 10-1-2 start to the season. At that point, they didn’t imagine anyone other than Tuukka Rask or Jaroslav Halak manning the nets even in a unique shortened season.
But injuries and positive COVID-19 diagnosis slowly piled up, especially on defense. Brandon Carlo, Kevan Miller and Jeremy Lauzon missed significant time nursing their respective ailments.
Eventually, Tuukka Rask caught the injury bug in the March 7 loss to the Devils. Rask returned to the lineup on March 25 only to exit again during the first period of a 4-3 overtime loss to the Islanders. This prompted Dan Vladar to the backup role behind Halak.
Vladar wasn’t thrown to the proverbial fire as he was in his first career appearance in relief of Halak during Game 3 of Boston’s second-round series with the Lightning in late August. But he hardly entered an ideal scenario in his first career start against the Penguins on March 16.