Rask: Bruins’ Main Man in Streak
Everyone who tuned into the Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens game yesterday saw Tuukka Rask perform at his best for the Bruins.
His most memorable save in that game arrived in the first period when Max Pacioretty flew down the ice ready to shoot on a breakaway. Rask calmly but quickly sprawled to his blocker side, stuffing the Canadiens forward on a impressive stop.
Throughout the entire match, though, Rask successfully serve as the last line of defense, thwarting many alarming first and second chances tries.
Stuffing rebound attempts is definitely Rask’s forte. That’s why he was capable of making 35 saves against the Habs. He sets himself in the best position to impede those scrappy goals around the crease.
Tonight, Rask subsisted as a focal point in the Bruins’ 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.
ESPN Boston’s Joe MacDonald stated in his postgame report that Rask managed 21 stops. While this figure is low in comparison to his numbers in Montreal, the Finnish goalie was very dependable, making critical saves to restrain the Coyotes to one score.
Rask conjured up two highlight reel saves in the first and second period respectively. The first was a desperate stick clearance of a puck teetering on his goal line. The second was a breakaway halt on Shane Doan‘s five-hole attempt. These two opportunities were phenomenally terminated by the B’s goalkeeper.
Both teams didn’t make much noise in the second period, but the Coyotes intensified their offensive undertakings in the third period, while the Bruins mustered admirable shots on net, including two breakaway chances from Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic.
In the match’s waning minutes, Rask supplied the B’s penalty kill with a combination of close-range stops.
Boston extended it’s winning streak to seven games with the win. They have also snatched the top spot in the Eastern Conference over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rask is perhaps the Bruins’ most valuable player, and his services, while integral to his team’s success, still require some semblance of cohesiveness from the B’s blueliners.
In that respect, as much credit as I’d like to give Rask, the Bruins’ defensemen should earn a fair amount of credit for holding strong when their forwards weren’t finishing perfect scoring possibilities.
We just have need the Bruins’ D-men to furnish this type of support on a day-by-day basis.
For now, Rask can carry the defensive burden on his shoulders.