NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask takes a moment during Game 1 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The biggest worry many observers have about the Bruins is that they will go stale with their 11-day break in between their last conference final game and when the Stanley Cup Final opens on Memorial Day.

And of chief concern to the worry warts is that goalie Tuukka Rask, the B’s best player through the first three rounds, will be the one player most adversely affected by the long layoff.

But if Rask — owner of a .942 save percentage and a 1.84 goals-against average in the postseason — was concerned, he did a good job of hiding it on Monday after practice.

“It’s only as big of a challenge that you make for yourself,” said Rask. “I just practice when we practice and then take days off when we have days off. I don’t think about hockey every day, all day. That doesn’t do any good. I just stay sharp on the ice, do what I need to do and then play when the puck drops. That’s about it.”

Rask had a 12-day break in late January when he was concussed right before the B’s bye week and the All-Star break and he bounced back well. In his second game back, he played one of his best games of the year, beating the Capitals in Washington, 1-0, snapping the B’s long winless streak against the Caps.

Rask said this break is a little different, but he’ll be able to handle it.

“It was awesome to go away with the family and spend some time by the beach. I didn’t do that this time,” said Rask. “But like I said, it’s only as tough as you make it. You take time off and unwind and then refocus when it’s time to refocus.”

I’ve played a lot of hockey in my career, so I think that helps. It helps to keep you even-keeled.”

Deep dive

Coach Bruce Cassidy went into a deep dive on analytics and said that a lot of those numbers back up the eye test. But he did say he looks at the neutral zone defense a little differently than he did before things like controlled entries were available to him.

“I was always wanting to protect the blue line, but maybe not as aggressively as we do now,” said Cassidy. “The data kind of showed us that more offensive opportunities, or better offensive opportunities come when you control of the puck over the blue line. Teams build their team around that. Toronto is a good example of that. They want to attack off the rush chances, far outweighing the forecheck (chances). But if you can defend the blue line and not let them in clean. That’s the one I watch every day to see if we’re stubborn there.”

Chara practices

Zdeno Chara (undisclosed) returned to practice after skating on his own.

“He was good,” said Cassidy. “He went through the practice without any issues, so I think (Tuesday, an off day for the players) will be a better day to see if he gets any stiffness or soreness.”

Chara was a held out of Game 4 of the Carolina series with whatever issue is bothering him.

“It was hard. I’m not going to lie. You’re watching (a clinching game) and you want to be playing. You want to be involved. For sure, it was something where I was feeling that anxiousness to play, but the guys did a great job of winning the game,” said Chara.

He said he was “taking it one day at a time” with his injury.

Returning to practice also were David Krejci and Steve Kampfer.