Boston Bruins: Stop Blaming Tuukka Rask


The Boston Bruins (short of a total miracle) will miss the post-season for the first time in eight years. The Bruins went from nearly a sure lock to requiring a lot of help. There were a series of failures and injuries throughout the season that led the B’s to where they are now.

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At the moment, there is a lot of attention drawn to Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. Last night on Comcast New England’s wrap-up of the Bruins-Panthers, former B’s head coach Mike Milbury directed a lot of his ire at the twenty-eight year old Finn.

His opinion started off with his usual blunt assumption. “Because Tuukka Rask sucked.”

“You’re in a big game and here’s a guy playing goal for you, you’ve given him all this money and I watched him after the game and he didn’t say anything after the game about ‘I stunk,'” said Milbury on Rask’s performance. “I’m still ticked off about it. I want to see my goalie just concentrate on stopping pucks. He was doing an examination of what the Bruins were doing, how they were playing. How about you, Tuukka?”

I respect Mike Milbury. He’s coached this team in the past. He has his own colorful record with the organization. I just don’t think that Rask was the person to blame the game and the season on.

“Just have to deal with it. It wasn’t [out of our hands] until now, so it’s I guess [it’s] our own doing, and now we just have to go into Tampa and try to get a win and hope for the best.” Tuukka Rask on the Bruins’ situation.

Did Tuukka Rask have a bad game last night? Yes. Two of those four goals looked soft. But should we be throwing him under the bus for the way the season went?

Absolutely not.

Rask has played in sixty-nine games this season. That’s a pretty substantial work load for someone to carry. That load only gets heavier when the team doesn’t have the scoring ability it had just a few seasons ago. While a .922 save percentage and a 2.31 goals-against average won’t win you the Vezina, they’re reliable numbers for someone you want as your number one goaltender.

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  • There were problems with the Bruins before they ever stepped on the ice for their first game of the season. There was Claude Julien attempting to change the team’s direction, but never making more than cosmetic changes to the line-up until Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak entered the picture. Then Peter Chiarelli made the bizarre choice to trade Johnny Boychuk at the beginning of the season.

    That trade haunted the Bruins organization. It was a constant reminder to the fans and the front office that it was totally the wrong move to make with the franchise.

    Then there were the injuries the Bruins never seemed to get ahead of. The loss of Kevan Miller. Milan Lucic and Dennis Seidenberg coming back from injuries and not playing at one hundred percent. The absence of David Krejci. There is a laundry list of issues that the B’s will need to address in the off-season.

    Tearing down their top net-minder shouldn’t be on that list.

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