Entering training camp, everyone thought Tuukka Rask was set in stone as the back-up to Tim Thomas with the big club but according to Claude Julien, the #2 spot between the pipes is up for grabs. Julien believes that Dany Sabourin could just as easily be the back-up to Tim Thomas.
"I think Tuukka has to understand that he has a great opportunity here. He's got to seize it. He's got some competition. There's a guy by the name of Sabourin that's got some experience in this league and we've got some young guys pushing, as well. Realistically, it's probably more Sabourin/Rask competition [to] see who will be working with Timmy this year."
- Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien
While Julien is saying all the polite things to the media, "one prominent sports radio personality" that a Bruins-employed blogger would not mention by name has more faith in Rask. The unnamed sports pundit, who I can only assume is the same guy that is rumored to be banned from The Garden press box by Jacobs & Co. has even implied that Rask could battle Thomas of the starter's spot.
Despite the media clichés being batted around by Claude Julien, I think the back-up gig is Rask's job to lose. Sabourin might see some time up in Boston at some point this year, but Tuukka will be the #2 goaltender with the big club. I think Rask is ready to play at the NHL level. Some B's fans wanted to see him in Boston full-time a lot sooner, but I am glad that the Bruins gave him enough time to develop without rushing him up to the NHL level too soon. Tuukka Rask gained a lot more out of playing every night in Providence than rotting on the bench in Boston.
We'll see what happens in the battle between the guy with too many letters in his first name versus the guy with not enough. You can never have enough goaltending....or consecutive vowels.