Boston Bruins: Trade Tuukka? Ask yourself before you Rask yourself

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 23: Tuukka Rask
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 23: Tuukka Rask /

A narrative has been brewing in the Boston sports market for the past few seasons, and it ain’t the tea steeping in the Charles River.  It involves an important part of the Boston Bruins roster.

For years, some fans have been calling for Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney to make a move involving Vezina Trophy winning goalie Tuukka Rask, an unprecedented transaction.  Those fans truly could not be more in the wrong.  Here is why.

The Finnish Workhorse

Over the past three seasons, nobody on the Bruins (well, besides Patrice Bergeron) has been more important to the team’s success than #40 himself.  Although his save percentage has been around league average for the past three seasons, one must consider the workload he has taken on his Finnish shoulders, and the defense in front of him. 

For instance, Rask played 65 games last season, good for fifth most in the NHL.  Additionally, those games were high stakes, as the Bruins fought for a wild card spot all year. Simply enough, both former head coach Claude Julien and now head coach Bruce Cassidy have asked the world of Tuukka, and he has delivered.

Not Broadway’s ensemble cast

Boston Bruins
OTTAWA, ON – APRIL 12: Zdeno Chara /

Another point these incorrect followers of Bruins hockey must take into account is the blue liners in front of the man between the pipes.  For the last three years, Rask has had an aging Zdeno Chara, who is now on the wrong side of forty, to man the left handed side of line number one. Additionally,  Rask faced injuries to such starters as Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, and stints from Providence stalwarts Tommy Cross, Rob O’Gara, and former Bruin Joe Morrow, among others.

More from Causeway Crowd

Had Rask been behind a stud defensive arrangement (looking at you, Nashville, Minnesota), his numbers surely would have improved. With upstart defenseman Brandon Carlo, and Boston University standout Charlie McAvoy solidifying what is certainly a great young core in the defensive zone, look for Tuukka’s numbers to improve in the coming year.

“Saved by Rask!”

Finally, Rask’s clutch gene should not be overlooked by any stretch of the imagination. Numerous times over the previous seasons, fans can recall Jack Edwards belting those the three magical words us fans of the Spoked-B know good and well.

In big game situations, Tuukka has stonewalled opponents again and again, and fans shower him with chants of the first syllable of his name soon thereafter. His vision, and ability to adapt make him one of the best goalies in the league on knee-jerk reaction saves, as well as his flair for the dramatic.  See below for proof:

Trading this incredible talent would bring echoes of another trade, which saw a dexterous young scorer leave for nothing but role players, to Causeway Street. (Rumor has it he’s producing pretty well in Dallas, Texas.)

Next: Projecting Bruins opening night roster

Bright horizons

The youth movement has finally arrived for this edition of the Boston Bruins here in the 2017-18 season. With great camps by McAvoy, Carlo, and Krug before his injury, the defense is surely going to take a step forward in front of #40. With unprecedented certainty, fans can expect the two U’s and two K’s to be too good for the NHL’s best, as Rask will be returning to his spot as one of the best netminders the league has to offer.