With Operation: Rescue the Cup starting to kick into gear, it’s important that we look at one of the big reasons why the Boston Bruins earned the cup in the first place: Goaltending. With Thomas on his self-imposed exile, our hopes for a strong season and a great playoff run will be mainly on the shoulders of our previous #2 goal tender, Tuukka Rask.
In an interview yesterday, and as reported by WEEI.com, Tuukka discussed the paradigm shift from playing one game a week to three. “It’s going to be almost every other day, so the workload’s going to be big, but that’s why you work out during the summer, and for me I went overseas to stay sharp and stay in game shape, so it shouldn’t be an issue,” Rask said yesterday. “As a goalie, it’s going to be a tough challenge physically and mentally, and I think we’ve got many good goalies in our organization who can help us out.”
Rask has said that he is perfectly healthy and ready to go. The new #1 crease policeman in Boston missed the last five weeks of the 2011-12 regular season with a groin injury. He posted eight games in the Czech Republic, and will probably play at least thirty here for the Bruins. He was asked if it felt like it was going to be a ‘full season’ for him. Rask said “it does and it doesn’t. It’s still a lot of games. So I’m sure it’s going to feel like a full season. ”
Last summer, he signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal as a restricted free agent. With Thomas stepping away, the Bruins needed someone they knew and could rely on. Rask was also with the hoping that a solid season as the Bruins’ primary goalie could get him a large multi-year contract down the road. Then the NHL governors decided to cut the season in half with the lockout, and it put Rask in the unenviable task of having to hunker down and really perform if he wants to remain in that position.
Rask understands his situation all too well. “I mean, I’ve still got to play good no matter what,” Rask said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s one game or eighty games. We’ll see what happens. I’m just trying to be my best and see where it leads.” Rask has been an outstanding net minder for us in the past. As long as the temper is under control, and he maintains his high level of focus(not to mention avoiding injury) I’m confident that Operation: Rescue the Cup will succeed.