Boston Bruins: Time for Tuukka Rask to Shine Again


It has not been the start that new General Manager Don Sweeney had envisioned, not to mention the loyal fans of the Boston Bruins. For that matter, it’s a safe bet to say Tuukka Rask didn’t enter this season imagining that on Halloween weekend his stats would be nearer the cellar of the league than the penthouse.

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One sign that change, however slight, may be on the horizon could have come out of Tuesday night’s win over the Arizona Coyotes. Not only was it the Bruins first win in Boston in four tries, the same can be said about Rask. The first three games, all on home ice,  saw Rask give up a total of 14 goals.

The 28-year old goalie looked like the Vezina winning version on Tuesday night against Arizona. This was his first win on home ice since April 4th, and also his first shutout since blanking the Penguins in Pittsburgh on March 14th.

The shutout earlier this week was Rask’s 27th of his career, and it ties him with Eddie Johnston for fourth place on the Bruins all-time list. Rask is also tied with Johnston for most games played as a Bruins goalie in a season, with 70. Rask did it last year, and Johnston did it in 1963-64. What makes Johnston’s feat remarkable is that he played in EVERY game that season, which back then was a full slate of 70. For the Bruins to succeed, they need Rask to perform more like he did on Tuesday night, and a lot less like he did in the first three games.

With Dennis Seidenberg back on the ice and practicing, the Bruins will soon have a chance to show depth and strength from the goal on out. Obviously the defensive pairings in the first three games aren’t anywhere near what they will be during the holidays. The presence of Seidenberg out there can only help to make Rask’s job easier.

Until the Bruins have their defensive unit whole, it is imperative the Rask plays to the level we all know he is capable of. He has taken points out of his last three starts, going 2-0-1. Could this be the start of a proverbial hot streak?

He’ll turn thirty next season, and he should be nearing his peak, as goalies tend to get better as they age.  Like a fine wine, hopefully we can all savor the fruits of Tuukka’s labor.

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