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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Confidence In Tuukka Rask Beginning to Waiver

If you ask most NHL fans from around the league who they view as the “elite” goaltenders you’ll usually hear four names; Carey Price, Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Quick, and Tuukka Rask. In the beginning here in Boston, we thought Rask was the next big thing, a guy who would allow us to continue to compete well into the future. After all, you are only as good as your goalie in the modern NHL. However, Tuukka just hasn’t been the same ever since a crushing seven game defeat at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens. Boston fans have certainly noticed and have not been shy about their displeasure with Rask’s inconsistent ways.
The Finnish goaltender’s struggles against Montreal have been well documented. He still has yet to record a regular season home win against the Bruins’ arch rivals. However, even before then, he was always excellent and consistent against the rest of the teams in the league. He won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender in 2014, the same year of the loss to the Canadiens in the playoffs. Can we directly attribute the drop in performance to the loss to Montreal?
Not necessarily, there were a lot of things that happened in the offseason of 2014 that helped Rask not look like the dominant net-minder we came to know. For starters, we lost some offensive punch with Jarome Iginla leaving that summer, meaning the Bruins had to rely more heavily on defense. That didn’t mix well since Boston traded defensive stalwart Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders just before the start of the season. Also, you can’t forget to mention the heavy workload Rask had last season. Our backup goaltending was not the best, which forced Rask to play in 70 games last season.
Despite that, his numbers were solid last season. However, what I always found the most troublesome was something you couldn’t exactly measure with stats. Rask never seemed to make the big saves or win the games he had to win. Yes, the defense made it tougher on him, but great goalies should find a way to overcome all that and get the win on nights you have to. Rask never seemed to do that and the Bruins missed the playoffs by a point, meaning just one of those wins could have made a huge difference.
With a brand new season, Rask will hope to move forward and get back to the Vezina form the Bruins need him to be. After a rough start to the season, he seems to be finding his game. Lets hope Rask continues his play and gives Boston a chance to get back into the playoffs.