Boston Bruins: Tuukka Rask is surely the uncrowned Vezina winner

Boston Bruins, Tuukka Rask #40 (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Tuukka Rask #40 (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

In Tuukka Rask, the Boston Bruins have a goaltender that rightfully is ranked among the best in the league.

The biggest question though is whether the league recognise the Boston Bruins goalie as such. Tuukka Rask could rightfully be in line for his second Vezina Trophy win and it’d be about time.

Not since Tim Thomas won the Vezina, in the 2010-11 season, has a Boston Bruins goalie managed to win the trophy twice in his Bruins career.

In fact, prior to Thomas, you’re going all the way back to Frank Brimsek in the 1941-42 season or Tiny Thompson back in 1938, under slightly different criteria, to find Bruins goalies seen as this elite in the league.

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Looking at the season that Tuukka Rask had; it should really be an undisputed win. No other goalie comes close to his save percentage, at least not one that has played over 35 games.

His closest competitor there, Darcy Kuemper had a save percentage of 0.928 compared to Rask’s 0.929, but starred in 12 less games and managed 10 less wins. Likewise, Kuemper is also closest on goals against averages with 2.22 compared to Rask’s 2.12.

There may have been six goalies in the league with more wins than Tuuka Rask, but only Andrei Vasilevksiy and Jordan Binnington come close to his percentage of wins versus games played with 67.3% and 60% respectively. The Boston Bruins netminder won 63.4% of his games this year.

Statistically, he was dominant for the Boston Bruins – there’s a reason, after all, that they found themselves as the President’s Trophy winner this season. Their 174 goals against is the league’s lowest total, though the Dallas Stars came close with just 177 against.

Credit where credit is due; some of this is courtesy of an excellent second choice goalie in the recently renewed Jaroslav Halak; the William M. Jennings Trophy is testament to that pairing’s elite goaltending.

In previous years, it’s been much easier to make a debate around who should win the Vezina Trophy; this year, it’s surely pretty obvious.

Goals against averages and save percentages only tell part of the story, but you have to look at the fact that the Boston Bruins very seldom lost when Tuukka Rask was in net and realise that he was absolutely key to the Boston Bruins this past season.

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Right now, Tuukka Rask is surely the Vezina Trophy winner in waiting; we just need to see what the General Managers of the NHL have to say when they eventually make their vote. Only time will tell.