Rask says flu kept him out of semifinals

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Tuukka Rask said Thursday that he missed Finland’s Olympic semifinal game against Sweden last week due to the flu.

After the Bruins held an optional practice Thursday afternoon at Ristuccia Arena, Rask said he had already been dealing with flu symptoms and played a couple of games with a temperature, including Finland’s quarterfinal victory over Russia.

“I thought it was maybe Loui [Eriksson] and the Swedes,” Rask said with a smile. “I had a little flu going for a week, and that one day I couldn’t get out of bed. It happens. It’s just life.”

So, no partying?

“No partying,” he said.

Rask said there was nothing he could have done. Instead, Finland turned to Kari Lehtonen to face Sweden.

“I could’ve played, but if you’re, like, 40 percent capacity it doesn’t make any sense to go out there when you have two No. 1 goalies, so that kind of helped my decision to stay off,” Rask said. “I knew it wouldn’t matter who was in net because we were going to have a chance to win. It happens and there’s no hard feelings, it’s just life.”

Rask was back for the bronze-medal game, and he made 27 saves to help Finland to a 5-0 win over Team USA.

“I don’t think anybody picked us to win a medal,” Rask said. “You look at the four teams, the best in the world, but we knew if we played our system we would have a chance to beat anybody, and we showed it. We played a great game against Canada, it could have gone either way, then beating the Russians. We played some great games. Nobody expected us to win, but we felt pretty confident for our game.

“It was a lot of fun,” Rask said of the overall experience. “It was more fun than I imagined. It’s over now and we’re back here and back in business. I’m happy to be back, I missed the guys.”