Vezina Trophy: Tuukka Rask
Ok, I agree, this wasn’t the smoothest of seasons for Tuukka Rask, but when push came to shove when he was playing, he left it all on the ice for the Bruins.
Following the playoff elimination at the hands of the Islanders, Rask revealed that he played the end of the season and playoffs on a torn hip labrum. It will require surgery this offseason and could keep him sidelined until January or February of 2022 if he re-signs with Boston of course.
In 24 games this season, Rask went 15-5-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average (GAA) and finished with a .913 save percentage (SV%) with two shutouts. Rask missed most of the month of March with an injury, but when he returned for the final month of the regular season, he played some of his best hockey of the season.
He won seven of last eight games, which included his two shutouts of the season against the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres. While the beginning of the season was a bit of a struggle, the end was strong when his teammates needed it.
At 34 years old, what does Rask do this summer? Re-sign or retire? It’s going to be interesting.
Norris Trophy: Charlie McAvoy
When Krug and Chara left in free agency, there was no question as to who the Bruins coaching staff and front office was going to look at as the new leader of the defense, and Charlie McAvoy proved to be more ready for the challenge in the regular season.
In 51 games this season, McAvoy had five goals and 25 assists and finished with plus/minus of plus-22. Impressive for a 23-year-old. The former Boston University product also reached a career-high with 24 minutes a night of time-on-ice.
He had career-highs in Corsi-for percentage (CF%) at 58.2 and Fenwick-for percentage (FF%) at 59.2.
McAvoy’s best pairing this season was when Cassidy moved Matt Grzelcyk beside him, but McAvoy is clearly ready to just to begin to hit his stride as a top defenseman in the NHL. Last season, he finished 10th in voting for the Norris Trophy. This season’s award is another one that will be handed out during the Stanley Cup Final, but rest assured, expect McAvoy to be higher than 10th in the voting.