In post for CSNNE.com, Joe Haggerty discusses the importance of Tuukka Rask to the on-ice success of the Boston Bruins. Rask is 6 – 1 – 0 with a GAA of under 2.00 and a Save% of 93.2% in seven starts this season for Boston. Haggerty argues that unless Rask is playing at the top of his game, the Bruins have little chance to come away with a win.
Using last night’s loss to the Rangers as an example, Haggerty pointed out that Rask allowed two goals he probably should have stopped. If Rask stops those shots, the Bruins are still in the game and have a chance at earning at least a point. In post-game comments, the Bruins netminder seemed to agree with Haggerty’s assessment:
“I felt good in the first. No rebounds. And then, the first goal, it is what it is. Then the second, off the guy’s shin pads, it’s something you can’t really control. Then the 3-1 goal, it’s just a five-hole so kind of a bad goal. Then the last one, [it was] obviously a bad goal, so that’s about it. When you let in a couple bad ones and mix in a couple lucky ones, it gets ugly. That’s what happened tonight.”
It’s hard to argue just how critical Rask is to Boston’s postseason hopes. He has the ability to carry the team on his back when he is playing well. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Rask has already battled through a lower body injury and missed a few starts as a result. Making matters worse, as Haggerty opines, is that Rask appeared to aggravate the malady during the second period of Boston’s 5 – 2 loss last night.
While he didn’t come out of the game and actually waved the team’s training staff off, Haggerty noted it was the same “buckling under following full extension” that he experienced on two separate occasions earlier this season. Whether or not Rask is fine now, it appears as if this could remain a lingering issue for the foreseeable future.