The Boston Bruins are enjoying a very sweet 2019 playoff run in a quest for their second Stanley Cup of the millennial. One of the reasons behind the successful run is the play of netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask has guided the Bruins past victories over Toronto, Columbus, and two wins over Carolina with game three Tuesday night. In this post, we will examine three reasons, why Rask has been so successful and where he stands amongst recent Stanley Cup goalies.
What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders?
Young Defensive Group Outside of Charlie McAvoy the team has an extremely young group of talented defensemen. Starting with Charlie McAvoy the team is a well_ balanced unit with Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, and Torey Krug.
The young group has been a significant reason that has contributed to Rask’s success this season. Krug, in particular, has been a vital force on the team’s power play.
If the Bruins expect to get past Carolina, then the defense will have to keep the Hurricane forwards at bay. The Bruins defense was one of the best in the NHL in 2018/19
Penalty Killing another reason for Rask’s success this postseason has been the play of the penalty killing unit. During the season, the penalty killing ranked near the bottom. During the playoffs, however, the penalty killing has been the out of the four playoff teams remaining. Currently, the team is riding a five_ game unbeaten streak.
One of the reasons for this year’s playoff success is the play of the penalty killing unit. The group have prevented the opposition from scoring. Currently, the club is enjoying a five _game postseason unbeaten streak thanks to the penalty killing. If the team can get past Carolina, the play of the penalty killing unit is vital.
Rask Versus Recent Stanley Cup Goalies; The past three seasons the Stanley Cup Champions have been The Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins twice and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Compared to Stanley Cup goalies, Rask statistics rank with the best. Corey Crawford of Chicago is 244-142 career as a Blackhawk. In, the Playoffs his record is 48-37. Another example, Matt Murray of Pittsburgh compiled a 29-14 overall record this year, with 2.60 GAA and a 919 save percentage. Murray had a dismal playoff record in 2019 at 0-4 record.
Rask’s numbers, on the other hand, were far better than both in 2019. 27-19 298 GAA and a 912 save percentage. Career _wise Rask is 265 150 228GAA and a 921 save percentage. The most wins by any Bruins goaltender in the clubs history.
Post Season Success It wasn’t too long ago that Tuukka Rask was getting criticized for his lack of victories in postseason. With consecutive losses to Ottawa and Tampa Bay, it’s safe to say that Tuukka Rask has finally arrived as an elite NHL goaltender.