Tuukka Rask Passes Frank Brimsek on All-Time List for Career Shutouts in Boston Bruins Goalie History
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask did more than beat the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday. When he tosses aside all 25 shots on goal from the Canadiens, he also passed Frank Brimsek on the Bruins all-time shutout leaders in franchise history. Brimsek and Rask were tied in second place with 35 shutouts apiece until Sunday when Rask recorded his 36th career shutout – second only to Cecil “Tiny” Thompson.
Though he passed Brimsek, Rask will have a long way to go to catch Tiny Thompson. The Bruins goalies from the 1928-29 season until the 1938-39 season recorded an outrageous 74 shutouts in just 468 games. He compiled a 252-153-63 record, allowing just 962 goals. He finished his career in Boston with a 1.99 goals against average and will go down in history as one of the best to ever play the game.
Rask has shown throughout his career that he is an elite goaltender. Despite recent struggles – allowing three goals or more in 11 of his last 15 games prior to Sunday’s win, Rask is very clearly one of the best in the business today. For now, he’ll get to enjoy his first career victory against the Canadiens in 13 attempts at home. The Bruins have a bye-week, and every player will get a chance to relax and recover from the first half of the season.
Bye Week a Blessing for the Bruins
The bye week probably means more for Rask than any other player on the Bruins roster. The Bruins starter has already played in 46 games this season, and in games started by backups, the Bruins have only won two games this year.
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This is nothing new for Rask, however, as the Bruins have rolled with Rask consistently over the last three seasons. In the 2014-15 season, Rask played in 70 games and recorded a 34-21-13 record with a 2.30 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. Last season, Rask played in 64 games and compiled a 31-22-8 record with a 2.56 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Well on to his way for another 60-plus start season, Rask simply needs this week to relax.
Rask’s Performance Dependent on Games Played
Rask has always played better when starting fewer games. His best season came in the 2013-14 season when Rask backstopped the Bruins to a 36-15-6 record with a 2.04 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. In seasons where Rask plays in under 60 games in a year, he’s recorded a 102-60-22 record. In those games, he’s compiled a 2.01 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.
When playing 60 games or more? Rask has recorded a 65-43-21 record with a 2.34 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.
The Bruins need to help Rask if they want him to help the team. A franchise goalie can only do so much to help a team – and Rask is looking noticeably tired with each passing game. The team will hope that Anton Khudobin can continue to roll after beating the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, but they also need to be ready to make a move if things do not change. For now, Rask can enjoy his name moving up in the history books.
For now, Rask can enjoy his name moving up in the history books. He can enjoy his rest and relaxation until Sunday against the San Jose Sharks. He’s earned that right and should take advantage of this opportunity while it presents itself. The Bruins have missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. If they want to avoid making it three straight seasons, they’ll have to find a way to keep Rask fresh.