Boston Bruins: Tuukka Rask slander needs to stop

May 10, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) in goal during the third period against the New York Islanders at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
May 10, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) in goal during the third period against the New York Islanders at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Saturday night, the Boston Bruins dropped Game 1 of their first round series with the Washington Capitals. Immediately after the game, the Tuukka Rask haters were at it again saying the loss was his fault.

Obviously they didn’t watch the game.

Rask definitely wasn’t close to being lights out and elite, but he played good enough to give the B’s a chance to win. He saved 29 of 32 shots, good for a .906 save percentage (SV%). Additionally, looking at all three goals, none were his fault.

Goal 1: Tom Wilson – One-time snapper from left circle

The first Caps’ goal was scored by winger Tom Wilson off a one-time snap shot. Looking at this goal, you can partially blame Rask for not having his glove up and also not playing the correct angle.

However, the majority of the blame should be on Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy breaks his stick in the offensive zone trying to move the puck from the point. This leads to a 2-on-1 against him with T.J. Oshie and Wilson.

McAvoy stays on his feet trying to break up multiple passes between the two Washington forwards. He gets a piece of the second pass to Wilson, but this ultimately just slows down the pass and causes Rask to make an error in his angle, anticipating a faster pass and a sooner shot.

In this situation, McAvoy should have laid down on his stomach, taking away more ice and angles for passes between Oshie and Wilson. By staying up, McAvoy basically let Oshie and Wilson have a 2-on-0.

Goal 2: Brendan Dillon – Wrist shot from the point

The short description makes it seem a lot worse than it actually was. A seemingly harmless Brendan Dillon wrister from the point somehow managed to find itself past Rask.

When you fully describe what happened in this play, it’s obvious this goal wasn’t Rask’s fault.

First of all, there were multiple bodies in front of Rask screening him, including two Bruins (one being defenseman Jeremy Lauzon) and Alex Ovechkin. The harmless wrister ends up deflecting off of Lauzon’s skate/leg, bouncing up and going past Rask’s glove which was at the moment down going to make the save on a low shot.

Clearly not Rask’s fault, and definitely not a softy.

Goal 3: Nic Dowd – Deflection in the slot

This goal is a main goal being called a softy and one that Rask should’ve had. I can see it, but I disagree for two reasons.

First, Rask was once again screened by multiple bodies. You can clearly tell he had no idea where the puck was and only made the initial save because he was in position to save Oshie’s one-timer from the point.

Second, the shot was deflected by Dowd. This completely throws off Rask’s timing, which is why he is unable to cleanly catch the puck. In turn, the puck falls and trickles through Rask’s legs and into the net.

Tuukka Rask deserves to start Game 2 for the Boston Bruins.

So while I know Rask haters will not listen to me and are blinded by their own bias, I hope this shows others that do not necessarily hate Rask but are calling for Jeremy Swayman to start Game 2 that Rask actually played well, but was on the short end of some bad bounces and luck.

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After all, Rask does own a career playoff SV% of .926, goals-against average (GAA) of 2.20, seven shutouts, and record of 51-42; why should he sit for Swayman (an unproven rookie) after losing a game where the top-six forward group was basically non-existent?