Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask earned his 200th career win in a 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
This article goes out to all the haters of Tuukka Rask. Some of you think the Boston Bruins goaltender is overpaid. Some of you think he’s not there for the Bruins in critical games. A few of you don’t like him because he’s not Tim Thomas. Finally, one or two of you don’t like him since he isn’t Canadian.
Let’s be clear. The Boston Bruins have had to rely on Tuukka Rask a lot this year. The Black and Gold were only able to get a single win without him for the entire first half of the season. Claude Julien was prepared to run him into the ground this season (this is likely one of the reasons why the B’s let him go).
Let’s take a look at Tuukka Rask’s contributions to the Boston Bruins organization(and compare him against the genuine legends of Bruins goaltending).
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Tuukka earned his 200th career win this week. That put him in fourth place among every Bruins goaltender in the last century. If Rask can produce the same amount of wins next season, he’ll pass Cheevers (229) and Brimsek (230) to take over second in all-time wins.
Rask has 36 shutout wins. That’s good enough for second all time. He’s 38 away from catching Tiny Thompson, and that’s probably not going to happen. But he’s ahead of a few genuine legends.
When it comes to save percentages, Tuukka Rask’s .923 stands practically alone. Technically, he’s second. (Chad Johnson (who only played 27 games for Boston has a .925). Granted, the NHL didn’t regard the save percentage statistic important until recently. But Rask is sitting atop the books in that department.
He’s fourth all-time in goals against with a 2.24 (Chad Johnson once again makes an appearance above him).
Tuukka Rask earned his 33rd win of the season on Monday. That puts him just three behind his Vezina-winning performance in 2013-14. While his save percentage(.914) isn’t in the stratosphere like it was back then, he’s still one of the top ten goaltenders in the league. Not bad for a guy who gets constantly called out for being a poor successor to Tim Thomas.
In all honesty, I’m a diehard supporter of Tim Thomas (His political views aside). He was the primary force that got the B’s the Cup in 2011. Once I look at the numbers, I realized that I was wrong in my opinion. In every category, Thomas finds himself eclipsed by a player that many people deride in social media.
Sure, Monday’s game was all about Brad Marchand. He put in a single period hat trick against the Vancouver Canucks. The last time any Bruin put in a hat trick against Vancouver was when Adam Oates did it in 1993. (Marchand was four at the time.)
Tuukka Rask’s 200th career win was sort of a footnote to the game. It’s a little disappointing that Rask didn’t receive a little more acknowledgment for his achievement.