Boston Bruins Tuukka Rask Has Become Biggest Concern


Usually, at any point in the regular season, or the playoffs, the concern for the Boston Bruins has not come from the net. Goaltending has been a strong position for the Bruins for many years now and, when Boston signed Finnish goalie Tuukka Rask to an expensive long term contract, it was believed that the Boston Bruins would continue to be a competitive team, as long as Rask was healthy. It appears that this belief may no longer be adequate.

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  • For many parts of last season, Tuukka Rask was not the goalie that Bruins players, management and fans could rely on to win games. No goalie is ever expected to steal every game they suit up for, but when all eyes were on Rask to come up with a big game, it rarely happened. Up until the recent three game losing streak, most Bruins fans and members hoped that last year was just an off year and that the former Vezina Trophy winning goaltender would be back to his old ways.

    Now that we have seen Tuukka Rask play, and are seeing more of what he showed us last year than inn years prior, people are starting to get a little more concerned. Tuukka Rask is expected to start in tonight’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. After that, the Bruins have three days off until their next game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Chances are, if Rask wins against the Coyotes, he will continue to get the starts over Jonas Gustavsson, even though the Bruins backup has looked better thus far.

    Oct 14, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) has his shot blocked by Boston Bruins goalie Jonas Gustavsson (50) during the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

    Gustavsson was good in his win over the Colorado Avalanche but, due to a history of being injured, cannot be too heavily relied upon to take on multiple games at a time. Jonas Gustavsson is not the franchise goalie who is getting paid millions of dollars to stop the puck every night; Tuukka Rask is. If Rask does not put in a good year for Boston, then the Bruins will not make the playoffs.

    Oct 8, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Winnipeg Jets center Nicolas Petan (19) celebrates after scoring a goal past Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) during the third period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    I believe that starting Rask in Arizona is the right call, since these issues that he is going through need fixing right away. It was great that Gustavsson was able to get the Bruins their first win of the season, but continuously sitting Rask is not going to make him better. I agree with giving Rask some competition and playing Gustavsson more often than expected, but I would never play Gustavsson for two games in a row.

    Rask did not play as many preseason games as he could have, since their was such a goaltending battle going on for the backup role. Rask needs to stay out on the ice since that is the only place where he will shake out of this funk. When Tuukka Rask is on top of his game, the skaters in front of him become more comfortable and confident in their game. Great goaltenders overcome the adversity that shadows over them.

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    Although Boston is going to be a good team this year, it can most certainly be argued that this is year’s version of the Bruins is not nearly as good as the Bruins teams we have had the pleasure of watching in the past half decade. A goalie will always look better than they are when they are on a good team, especially when that team is excellent defensively. With a team that has gotten progressively worse in the past year, Tuukka Rask will need to step up and prove that he can be a goalie that can carry a team instead of a goalie that gets carried by his team.

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