Starting with I was the biggest Rask disbeliever and still think he has his moments, but he has been amazing this series.And two, I wrote this for BSM but I figured you could maybe enjoy it too? I tried to be more opinionated?
So I’ve had this article in my head since Game Four when Tuukka Rask
practically won that game for them but I couldn’t really write it until I saw how he played for a few more games. But here it goes.
Blast from the Past:
It’s 2010 and you’re sitting on your couch with your family watching Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins were up 3-0 in the series but were unable to stomp on the throats of the Flyers. Now they’re up 3-0 in the game and before the first period is over the Flyers score a goal. The Flyers would get two more in the second period. And in the third period with a little more than seven minutes left to go, Simon Gagne put the dagger in the hearts of Bruins’ fans with a slightly soft goal. Cue all the hatred for Rask, a rookie who had never seen the playoffs.
Back to May 13th 2013:
Though Tuukka Rask had pretty decent stats through the 2009-2010 playoffs with a 2.61 GAA and a .912 SV% fans everywhere blamed him. The team in front of him was battered with injuries and collapsed before fans’ eyes, but it was Tuukka that most of the blame went on. And with some of the goals he allowed during the Flyers’ rally, I had a little resentment myself.
At the start of the series against the Leafs, fans everywhere were crying that Tuukka could not be a big time goalie. He could not be a playoff goaltender.And they could not be more wrong. This year Tuukka Rask has been the reason the Bruins have been in every single game against Toronto. The goal scoring was there in front of him but when they needed him, Tuukka Rask was on his game, all series long.
Tuukka Rask is a good goaltender. Tuukka Rask is a great goaltender. And if anyone had their doubts about him showing up in the playoffs before this season, they should be silenced by now.
Rask won the Bruins Game Four with 45 saves. Eleven of those coming in overtime, allowing David Krejci to score the game winner and get his second career playoff hat trick. Tuukka Rask kept the Bruins in this series, especially tonight in Game Seven, when the rest of the team looked defeated. He had the drive to continue. He wouldn’t give up on a team that had seemed to give up on themselves. When they finally rallied back with seconds left, the game headed into overtime. Even then, he made some terrific saves to keep the Bruins in the game with a fighting chance.
Rask is sporting a .923 SV% and 2.49 GAA only allowing 18 goals on 234 shots heading into the Eastern Conference Semi Finals against the New York Rangers. Those numbers are similar to his numbers in 2010, proving that he was not the only issue in that series, but I can truly believe his numbers will get better as the team in front of him continues to play better.
When asked about making saves in overtime Rask said, "You’re either a hero or an a-hole." Well. Tuukka Rask, this series you are the hero, and you have fully earned your redemption and the faith from many disbelieving Bruins fans.
Many FanPosts are written by readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Stanley Cup of Chowder, SB Nation, their sponsors, or business partners.