Boston Bruins: Tuukka Rask Wants To Finish Strong.


Tuukka Rask has done a solid job this season as the goaltender for the Boston Bruins. Granted, this has been an up-and-down season for the twenty-eight year old netminder.  A lot of Bruins fans were expecting a repeat of last year’s Vezina Trophy-winning season. Last year, Rask went 36-15-6 ( with seven shutouts) with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.

This year’s numbers tell a slightly different story. He’s got thirty-four wins this year(with three shutouts), and his save percentage is .924. His 2.27 goals-against average is the biggest strike against him when people talk about elite goaltenders. While Rask’s recent work has gotten his numbers closer to last year’s performance, he won’t be in contention for the Vezina this year. His performance this year was good enough to earn him the Bruins’ Second Star of the Season award.

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  • “This year, I think it’s just funny,” said Rask after Saturday’s win. “I’ve had my struggles too, but we’ve kind of been a Jekyll-and-Hyde team, and kind of up-and-down. So it’s been tough for us, but we’ve been battling, and hopefully it pays off at the end.”

    While it’s not been the best year for him, the Finnish native knows what he has to do. He certainly got it done against the Maple Leafs. While the Leafs did get a goal on Saturday, it was just a fluky play from Adam McQuaid that caused the puck to bounce off the back of Rask’s pads and go in.

    “I can’t score any goals or anything,” Rask said. “So I just have to focus on keeping that puck away from our net, because it seemed like everybody was looking at the scoreboard, and then it makes us even tighter, you know? That’s what it looked like again today, so I tried to keep myself calm.”

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    He’s certainly done that. While Tuukka Rask was playing for the Bruins AHL affiliate he was known for being very hot-tempered. A quick look on You Tube will lead any Bruins fan to seeing Rask having one of the all-time greatest goalie meltdowns. In the last few years, Rask has matured into a reliable player who is considered to be a top ten goaltender in the NHL.

    His teammates certainly appreciate how reliable Rask has been for them. Even the new guy on campus knows how good Tuukka has been for us this season. Brett Connolly shared his opinion of the Finnish crease policeman after the B’s got the 2-1 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    “Especially lately, the last week — you play against him, you watch him, he’s always making these highlight-reel saves, and you watch how hard he works — there’s no secret to why he’s so good,” said Connolly of Rask. “He works hard, and very talented, and a guy who wants to win, and very competitive. That’s why he’s so good, and for us, he’s going to have to continue being good.

    “Obviously. he’s our backbone back there, so he’s been excellent.”

    With three games to go before the end of the regular season the Bruins haven’t locked up a playoff spot. While their chances are still excellent at this point (87.5%), they’ll need Rask to play his best in the final week to secure themselves a place in the post-season.

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