Right now, if I’m Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, I’d be considering whether to bother coming back to the team.
However, to hear some of the vitriol spouted by Boston Bruins fans, you’d think he’d walked out on the team for their biggest rivals.
Yes, he made some comments in a press conference prior to the announcement that he’d be heading home and yes, it was easy to construe these as him having given up, lacking commitment or countless other takes. Rather, it was probably more a case that he’d already made up his mind.
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Whatever the case may be, if I’m Tuukka Rask right now and I’ve seen or heard the noise, it’s not very easy to re-join the Boston Bruins now or in the future.
You know that your fan base is openly calling out your play, your commitment (which yes, even we did) and frankly you’ve earned enough money over the years not to have to deal with it all.
If indeed this does happen to be the case; we as fans must look at the era with Tuukka Rask as starting goaltender as a rather successful one. In the regular season, Tuukka has been one of the most consistent goalies in the NHL for the Boston Bruins.
In the post-season, he’s seen us through to two Stanley Cup Finals and while we may not have came away with the Cup on either occasion; we wouldn’t have even had a chance to win without him there.
Just look at Tuukka Rask’s record as the Boston Bruins’ goalie; in the playoffs, only Gerry Cheevers (with 53 wins) has more wins than his 51, while Tim Thomas is realistically the only comparable when we look at save percentage or goals against average.
In regular season play, Tuukka shines even more as clear record holder for the most wins as a Boston Bruins goalie as well as the most games played, significantly ahead of second-placed Tiny Thompson.
Tiny outdoes him on goals against average albeit playing in the very early days of the league between 1928 and 1939. Rask is dominant in save percentage too, especially given how many more games he’s played than the next closest, Tim Thomas.
All in all, the guy deserves a bit more respect and gratitude from the Boston Bruins fan-base. If he does opt to call it a day, I think it’s fair to say that the fans and media may have played a role in the decision.
Either way, if the era of Tuukka Rask between the pipes is over, we’d be first to say that he deserves his number up in the TD Garden rafters.