Tuukka Rask starting in three games in four nights after the all star break is not ideal, especially after saying that he “Popped his groin”. However, the play of the Bruin backup goaltenders has made it a necessity to keep starting him. The difference between Rask and his three backups, Anton Khudobin, Zane McIntyre, and Malcolm Subban, has been large, but slipping as the workload takes its toll on Rask. Prior to last nights game, the gap between them are just under 3.5 goals per 100 shots at five on five, and 5.83 goals per 100 shots in all situations.
Tuukka Rask has 25 of the Bruins 26 wins. That lone win for the Bruins without Rask in net was a shootout win for Anton Khudobin all the way back on December first (which David Pastrnak was really happy about) The last non shootout win by a Bruins backup? March 8th, 2016 by Jonas Gustavsson
Those 25 of the Bruins 26 wins leave him in rarefied air, tied for sixth so far this year in terms of what percentage of his teams games he has won of a single season (with at least 15 wins) since 1967. Rask isn't likely to climb much higher on this list, with fourth being as high as he can go barring an incredible run, but this shows just how good Rask has been, and how bad the Bruins backup goaltending has been.
Rask’s workload has been in the top ten of the league so far this year, ranking seventh in the percentage of Bruins games he's seen action in, and playing the eighth most percentage of his teams minutes (to account for discrepancies in games played, but this does not account for minutes with a goalie pulled)
In terms of raw minutes, Rask is fifth amongst goalies, and is on pace to play 65 games. Since entering the league in 2007-08 (and playing five total games his first two years) there have been 57 individual seasons where a goalie has played 65 or more games for their team. Looking at his ten game rolling save percentage, it's consistent with a goalie who is being run into the ground, starting where a goalie of his caliber should be, petering out to below average with the workload. It doesn't look like his workload will be getting any easier, although the Bruins do have longer time between games on average in the second half of the year
"Tuukka's going to play the lion's share of the games" - Cassidy— Josh Cooper (@JoshuaCooper) February 7, 2017
If the Bruins have any shot of making the playoffs this year, some combination of Khudobin, McIntyre, and/or Subban have to be able to reliably spell Rask, giving him the rest he needs to be the Tuukka Rask that all Bruins fans know. What they’re getting right now isn't cutting it.