What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders

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.

Why Defense Is A Key Factor For A Successful Bruins Post Season Run

Experienced Group; With three- quarters of the NHL season over, the team’s defence ranks second in the league in goals allowed. As the third-year coach, Bruce Cassidy rotates goalies Tuukka Rask, and Jaraslov Halak the Bruins have held onto fourth place in the NHL East.

The defensive group of Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon,  Carlo, John Moore Kevan Miller, Steven Kampfer, and Torey Rug.. have remained fairly healthy. Early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara the Bruins defence has been one of the best in hockey.

Except for John Moore and Steven Kampfer, the group has been together for five years or longer. At 42 years old Zdeno Chara is a valuable member of the clubs power play. Veteran Torey Krug is having a solid season by logging 44 games played and 5 goals and 33 assists. Krug is also an essential member of the Bruins power play.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sixty Minutes Of Hockey; One area the team needs to focus on is consistency. Saturday’s 5-4 win over the LA Kings the Bruins fell apart in the third period. Future Hall Of Fame winger Patrice Bergeron netted the game _winning goal in overtime to beat the Kings. It was also Bergeron’s 1,000 point as a Bruin.

The team has won and lost several close games this season because of a defensive breakdown.  In a recent win over Washington, goalie Tuukka Rask kept the Capitals scoreless for three periods and earned his 253 wins as the organizations winningest goalie.

Staying Healthy; Despite early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara, the Bruins have one of the top five defensive units in the NHL.  Outside of the Bruins Anaheim, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Minnesota have better defensive units.

Zdeno Chara continues to pile up the minutes every night. If the rest of the defence can stay healthy, the team will be a serious contender going forward.

Looking Ahead; Head coach Bruce Cassidy continues to mix up his lines regularly. Keeping goalies Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak fresh will be another factor for a successful Stanley Cup run

Bruins Farm System Failing To Produce NHL Calibre Players

The 2018 Boston Bruins find themselves struggling to maintain a playoff spot. Injuries have plagued the 2018 roster and fans are observing a team without an identity. Currently, the club has injuries to Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller and others. As it stands now, the organization is in fourth place at 14-10 24 points and four overtime losses. In this post, we will examine three issues concerning why the farm system is failing to produce NHL calibre players so far this season.

.                                                                                                                             Bruins Farm System Failing To Produce NHL Calibre Players                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Rash Of injuries;   So far this season the Bruins have suffered serious injuries to their star players. Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller, and Charlie McAvoy have all missed significant time due to severe injuries. McAvoy, for example, has suffered a serious concussion due to a hard hit in mid _October.                                                                                                                                                                                In his absence, the team has had to count on callups Jakub Zboril, Connor Clifton, and Jeremy Lauzon to makeup for Chara, and McAvoys minutes. Since their promotion, from Providence, none have factored in the offense.

Lack of Scoring;   With injuries to Patrice Bergeron the Bruins first line has been nonexistent. Only David Pastrnak has been a critical player in scoring with 20 goals. His linemate Brad Marchand has been decent with seven goals but has spent most of his time in the penalty box.

Since Bergeron went on the injured list, the club has had to rely on its younger players. Forwards Sean Kuraly, Jakob Forsbackas Karlsson, Noel Acciari, have produced minimal in Bergeron’s absences.  Second _year player Danton Heinen has played in 26 games and only has 2 goals and 3 assists to show for his efforts. Last season, for example, Heinen played in30 games and scored 16 goals and a plus_ minus the ratio of 10 before his injury Third _year player Jake DeBrusk has also missed time due a neck injury. Since his return, DeBrusk has 10 goals 2 assists while playing on the second line with center David Krejci.

Respectable Goaltending; Despite the disappointing performance so far goaltending has been one area that has been respectable. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has been platooning Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Both players have kept the team in the playoff hunt with Halek showing a 932 save percentage and Rask showing a 914 save percentage

Looking Ahead; With the team struggling to hold on to, fourth place scoring must become the clubs top priority. If the young players so not cash in then General Manager Don Sweeney may have to pull the trigger on a major deal.

Why Goaltending will take the Bruins To the Promised Land in 2018/19

With the 2018/19 NHL season set to get underway this week, Bruins fans are optimistic about the upcoming season. With Tampa Bay and Toronto, the teams to beat in the East hopes are high for a successful Bruins season. In this post, we will cover three reasons why goaltending will be the key ingredients for the Bruins to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why Goaltending Will Take The Bruins To The Promise Land In 2018/19

Upgrade In Goaltending; Although Toronto signed John Tavares the Bruins did some moves of their own this offseason. One important move was signing free agent goalie Jaroslav Halak.

In 54 games with the Islanders, last season Halak compiled a 20_-26 record  908 save percentage. As for the playoffs Halak has played in 30 career playoff games while posting a 13-15 record and a 908 save percentage. Halak is is a huge upgrade over last year’s backup Anton Khudobin. Halak’s playoff experience should be a huge help for Tuukka Rask.

Defensive Improvements;  Last season the Bruins had one of the best defenses in the NHL. With the trading of veteran Adam McQuaid, the Bruins added former Devils defenseman, John Moore. Moore who has played in a total of 446 career games has 32 career goals and 67 assists.  Moore who is noted for his speed and puck handling skills will be a definite upgrade on the power play.  Also, his leadership will be a big plus in the locker room.

One other trade in the defensive department was acquiring Stephen Kampfer from the Rangers. Kampfer was part of the Adam McQuaid deal with the Rangers midway through training camp.

Youth Movement; Along with the offseason moves the Bruins continue to grow their roster with younger and quicker players. Last seasons number one draft pick Axel Andersson is competing for a full _time roster spot. With youngsters, Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, Sean Kuraly, Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen already on the roster look for the Bruins to make life difficult for opposing teams this season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Looking ahead; Last season head coach Bruce Cassidy guided the Bruins to a 50-20- record for 112 points in the Eastern Conference. With Former Islander John Tavares signing with Toronto goalie Tuukka Rask has a huge task ahead of him along with the rest of the organization.

The Bruins survived Toronto last season in round one of the playoffs, only losing to Tampa Bay in round two. If the Bruins have any hopes of reaching the finals boils down to a balanced scoring attack, solid defense and a well _rested Tuukka Rask.

Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

In, a span of three years, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has guided the team back into a serious playoff contender. Since the firing of longtime time coach Claude Julien, the Bruins have started drafting more skilled players. The organization has seemed to change its philosophy from physical to focusing on attributes such as players with more of a skill set.  In this post,  we’ll review three areas why the Bruins need to restructure the defensive department for the upcoming NHL season.

Why The Bruins Need To Restructure Their Defense For The 2018/19 Season

Redefine Chara’s Role;

At, forty years old the team continues to get excellent production from captain Zdeno Chara. But in, the playoffs particularly against Tampa Bay, Chara showed  signs of fatigue. Throughout the course of the season, Chara averaged 23 minutes per game. Not too bad for a  player neither young nor old.  As the  season progressed, Chara has paired with the teams  2016 number one draft pick, Charlie McAvoy. In, McAvoy the organization has one of the top young defensemen in the NHL. After the Tampa Bay series, many fans and media people feel that the club needs to cut down on his playing time and pair him with another partner.

Make A Decision On Adam McQuaid;

Veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid is in his last year of a four_year contract  At 31 years old many fans feel that the organization needs to get quicker on defense. In 2017/18 McQuaid missed several games. Considering his  3,000,000 dollar salary it may be time to think about dealing Mcquaid.

As the team continues to draft more skilful players, they can maintain their status as an elite NHL team. .McQuaid has a history of being injury prone by trading him the club can add another younger defenceman.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Help In Providence;

Since General Manager Don Sweeney took over three years ago, the club has qualified for the playoffs two_ years in a row.   If the team wants to resume its quest to win another Stanley Cup, then the defense needs continue to get better. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has improved his playoff performance due to resting more during the regular season.

As it stands now, the Bruins have a young group of six or seven defensemen who are legitimate NHL players. Veteran Torey Krug had a spectacular collecting 14 goals and 45 assists for 69 points. Kevan Miller continues to make progress. Young Matt Grzelcyk who split time with Providence is only getting better. Third _year player Brandon Carlo who suffered an injury at the end of the season be ready at the start of training camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In,  Providence, two Bruins who could be prepared for full _time duty are defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and 2015  number one pick Jakub Zboril. Out, of the two Lauzon is the one most likely one to make the squad. As for Zboril,  he needs to continue to work on his game.

Is It Still To early To Trust Tuukka Rask Only Time Will Tell ?

So far the 2018 NHL playoffs have been pretty impressive for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. With a game seven win under his belt over Toronto, Rask is enjoying early success over the Eastern Conference leaders Tampa Bay Lightning. In this post, we’ll discuss three areas the Bruins and Rask need to focus on in order to advance to the next round.

 Is It Still To early To Trust Tuukka Rask Only Time Will Tell?
                                                                                                                                                                            Previous  Playoff Experience;
 If history is any indicator of how players or teams are then Bruins have time against them. Bruins fans share painful memories of the 2010 collapse against Philadelphia. The sad part of that series was that the Bruins were up 3-0 only to have Rask give up fifteen goals in four periods for an 839 save percentage.
  And who could forget the 2012 catastrophe against Chicago? The Bruins were up 3-2 only to lose to the Black Hawks in seven. in that series, Rask was responsible for six goals in the last two games. Considering Rask had a fairly good game five the end was in Chicago’s favour.
                                                                                                                                                                                              In 2013 against the Canadiens Rask did not fare any better. Boston had a 3-2 series lead where Rask let in four goals on thirteen shots simply to send the Bruins home for a lengthy vacation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The succeeding season had the Bruins facing the Canadiens for the second _season in a row. With an experienced Rask in the net, the result was a triumph for Montreal in game seven at Boston.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rotating Goalies;
                                                                                                                                                                             Early in the 2017/18 season, 1st _year coach Bruce Cassidy decided to rotate Rask with backup goalie Anton Khudobin.  Khudobin filled in brilliantly when called upon with a 16-6 record and 2.47 Goals Against. The only drawback on Khudobin is he only has one playoff game under his belt and no record to show for it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This method seemed to work for the Bruins as Cassidy pulled Rask in game five against Toronto and the Bruins collecting their first playoff series win since their Stanley Cup year in 2011.
                                                                                                                                                             Boston vs. Tampa Bay;

                                                                                                                                                                             Bruce Cassidy’s system of rotating goalies has so far worked in the Bruins favour, The question is how will Khudobin respond to pressure cookers as the playoffs go deeper and deeper. Many Bruins fans feel that Cassidy is pressing the right buttons and continue rotating the two netminders. The difference between this year and previous years is Rask is well rested not So far the 2018 NHL playoffs have been pretty impressive for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. With a game seven win under his belt over Toronto, Rask is enjoying early success over the Eastern Conference leaders Tampa Bay Lightning.

 If the Bruins and captain Zdeno Chara Expect to carry the Stanley Cup around the TD Garden ice then Rask and teammates will have to learn how to win under playoff pressure.

 

Bruins Hoping For Deep Playoff Run After A Flurry Of Activity

 With, fifteen games remaining the Bruins are hoping for a deep playoff run. At the trade deadline, the Bruins welcomed Brian Gionta, Nick Holden, Tommy Wingels, and Rick Nash. So far all four have contributed to Bruin victories.          Bruins Hope For Deep Playoff Run after A Flurry Of Activity                                                     Injury Woes;

The new faces could not have come at a better time as injuries continue to mount for the Bruins.  Injuries to Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Charlie McAvoy,  and Brad Marchand have kept the Bruins at bay.  Out of the four McAvoy’s is the most serious. Despite injuries, the team has remained competitive trailing Tampa Bay with 98 points                                                                                                                                                        So far the moves are making General manager Don Sweeney look brilliant considering he didn’t have to give up that much.  This season is a big difference from last year has the Bruins made only one deal at the deadline That player turned out to be Drew Stafford who is no longer with the Bruins.
Solid Goaltending;                                                                                                                                                             Aside from getting quality play from the veterans the Rask is having one of his most clubs has gotten excellent goaltending from Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin. Rask is having one of his best years as a  Bruin with a 29-11-and a 2.31 Goals against. Backup Anton Khudobin is also contributing with a 15-5  record and a  2.48 Goals against average.
By resting Rask the Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season. The past two seasons Rask has been a victim of being overused. By the time playoff time comes around Rask has been burned out which results in an early Bruin exit from the playoffs.
           Playoff Experience;
With 94 points the Bruins should be in excellent shape for the playoffs. There are however two factors against the Bruins. One is getting to the Washington Capitals. Two is having Tuukka Rask getting some playoff series victories under his belt.   Since their last Stanley Cup in 2011 Rask has not won a playoff round. Hopefully, if McAvoy can return healthy, the results may be different this year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Head coach Bruce Cassidy has the Bruins believing in themselves.  Since the trade deadline, the team has gone 7-1. If the Bruins expect to get by Washington then it will have to be a total team effort. Playing smart and not getting foolish penalties is just one area it takes to beat the Capitals.   The other area is playing good in transition. Beating the Capitals will be no easy task but keeping Rak rested maybe the Bruins best strategy.