Evaluating Boston Bruins Goaltender Tuukka Rask


May 14, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (not pictured) scores a goal on Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) during the second period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Chiarelli hoped he shored up the goalie position when he signed Tuukka Rask to a long-term deal (eight years, $56 million). Chad Johnson arrived as Rask’s backup this season and garnered a solid amount of regular season starting time, filling in when needed.

Here’s an examination of just Rask, comments regarding his overall season.

Tuukka Rask’s Season

From a statistical outlook, he was one of the best goalies in the 2013-14 National Hockey League, numbering a 2.04 goals against average (GAA), fourth in the NHL , and .930 save percentage, which is second in the league behind Minnesota Wild’s Josh Harding. These numbers, while pleasing to the eye, don’t really tell the whole story, the fact that the Boston Bruins probably had a top-quality defense, and time and time again, they forced tough shots from odd angles that can pad a netminder’s stats.

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Rask is a good goalie, don’t get met wrong, but many people have brought up a point that he hasn’t made enough noise in the postseason for the standard he’s held to — roughly $7 million dollars a year. People will say that Rask can’t bail out the Bruins when their defense falters during high-pressure moments. Sure, it’s a decent argument because we’ve seen Tim Thomas effectively use his wild playing style in order to guide the B’s to victory. Rask, albeit more controlled and fundamentally sound between the pipes, lets shots go at critical moments, or so it seems.

But for those who may say that Tuukka Rask isn’t actually a high-caliber goalie, you’re jumping the gun. Stay even-keel. The Bruins won a Stanley Cup in 2011 and appeared in one last year. The Finnish goaltender signed his massive extension a summer ago, so it’s only fair to give him a couple of years to really strut his stuff.

In the end, the B’s sit in great position to contend for a championship. The team, as a whole, brags talented players, and trading for speed this offseason should bolster the squad even more. Let Tuukka Rask be a piece to the puzzle.