Brian Mills ’18
With eight games played in the Boston Bruins’ young season, one thing has been made clear. This team is nothing without Tuukka Rask in net.
The backbone of this team isn’t Bergeron, Chara or even high scoring Marchand. It’s the man between the pipes. Tuukka Rask has been the difference in the games he has played this year. Because the games without him? Well, those haven’t been pretty by virtually anyone’s standards.
To be fair, Rask has only played half of these games so far. Due to undisclosed injuries, the B’s main goalie has been forced to sit out four games. But that’s just it- in the four games he was out, we lost. In the four games we played with him, we won.
Like his somewhat shaky performance last year or not, Rask is playing extremely well. And we need him badly. Because there doesn’t seem to be much depth in goalies for this Boston team.
The backup goalie situation is where things went awry for Boston’s four losses. Khudobin suffered a wrist injury around the same time Rask was reported as “day to day.” This meant the B’s had no choice but to pull Malcom Subban and Zane McIntyre from the AHL. Unfortunately, these goalies simply were not NHL ready, allowing a total of 10 goals in a matter of two games.
Lucky for Boston, they can take a sigh of relief because Rask returned to the ice in a divisional rivalry road matchup against the red hot Red Wings. This team was on a six game winning streak, meanwhile Boston was stumbling in on a three game losing streak. With his return, Rask was able to stop every single shot that came his way. He was able to blank out the Red Wings and bring the Bruins right back to the winning column.
Going 4-0-0 so far this season, Tuukka has some of the best numbers for a goalie in the league. He has a Goals Against Average of 1.26, as well as a save percentage of .958. He managed to shutout the Red Wings the other night as well, who were flying high on a six game winning streak beforehand.
Having a solid goaltender like Tuukka Rask allows the players in front to play with more confidence. They don’t have to get shaken up each time the other team takes a shot on net, because they know they have someone who has their back. Rask has already had a few highlight reel saves this season, and that is no accident. He is a strong goaltender who is ready to prove to the NHL that the best of his career has yet to come.