Name: Tuukka Rask
Weight: 169 lbs.
Contract: $1.25 million through 2011-12 NHL season
2010-11 NHL Stats:
Regular season: 29 Games played
Record: 11-14-2, 2 SO,
Save-percentage: .918 save-percentage
Goals-against average: 2.67 goals-against average
Anthony’s take: After a successful rookie year that saw Rask go 22-12-5 with a 1.97 goals-against-average and a .931 save-percentage, Rask hit the wall that is known as the “sophomore slump”. Rask came into the season as the starter, but eventual Vezina-winner Tim Thomas stole the starting gig. To his defense, Rask really never had a chance to keep his job with the way Thomas started, and finished the season.
Rask finished the year 11-14-2 with a 2.67 goals-against-average, and a .918 save-percentage. Once again to his defense, Rask was the victim of some poorly played games by the Bruins. One troubling number is the 71 goals-allowed in 29 games this year compared to last year’s 81 goals-allowed in 45 games.
It’s no secret that Rask is the Bruins goalie of the future, and has tremendous talent. I’m not concerned with his struggles this season due to the fact he never got to play consistently enough to work himself out of his slump. Although Thomas will be the clear-cut-starter heading into the season, I fully expect Rask to push Thomas as much as he can to hold on to the starting goalie position.
Final grade: C+
Marino’s grade: A definite digress from his rookie campaign to his sophomore season…but Rask still put up some very good individual stats. This past season was a big testament to his character and a true learning curve in the young netminder’s career. Going from No. 1 status to riding the pine and manning the bench’s door, Rask stayed professional throughout — saying the right things at the right times and not letting the demotion on the pecking order rattle him in front of the cameras. In fact, Rask seemed to relish the role of No. 2, and clearly got more comfortable as the season progressed.
If the season started tomorrow, Tim Thomas would be the No. 1 goalie to hit the cage for the defending Stanley Cup Champs. But we still have a good chunk of the offseason remaining, and what should be an exciting battle of the netminders this fall at training camp.
Whether he beats out Thomas and regains his No. 1 role or not, Rask will not only give the reigning Conn Smythe and Vezina Trophy winner a run for his money, but you can probably pencil him as the backbone of this team’s franchise for years to come.
Final grade: B