After what Tim Thomas did for the Bruins last season it’s hard to find anyone that does want to see Thomas between the pipes for the Bruins each and every night, and I don’t blame you, but the same could be said for Tuukka Rask, and I don’t blame you on that one either.
Since dropping his first three starts and four of his first seven to kick off the 2010-11 season, Tuukka Rask has been an absolute animal for the Bruins. Since the start of November Rask has just two losses (a 3-2 shootout loss to the Red Wings and a 2-1 loss to the Jets) in 11 appearances (10 starts, one relief appearance).
What Rask has done in the past few starts is even more impressive. Tuukka’s last four starts have produced four wins, three by way of the shutout, not bad for a back-up goalie eh? Tuukka’s Goals against Average in those four starts? A solid 0.20 which once again is not bad for a back-up, eh?
On the season Rask has a 1.49 Goals against average which is good enough for the number one spot in the National Hockey League. Next closet to Tuukka is Brian Elliot with a 1.70. Rask also leads the league with a .949 save percentage over Tim Thomas and his .940 save percentage.
When asked if this was the best he has felt playing for the Bruins, Rask wasn’t sure.
“I can’t, I mean that’s a tough question to ask. I felt good last year, I felt good two years ago. I just haven’t let in any goals in lately and that’s probably how people feel when asking that question but it’s a tough question, I always feel pretty good.”
Since Bruins head coach Claude Julien started his tenure here in Boston during the days of a Thomas/Alex Auld tandem Julien has always stated no matter what his team was going to ride the hot goaltender when deciding who would start each night.
It’s safe to say that Rask is the hottest (playing-wise) goalie in the league right now, but it’s fair to note that Thomas is right behind him, a luxury that Julien has no problem with.
“It’s a big time luxury, I’m not going to hide that fact. It doesn’t matter who you put in net right now, you know you’re going to get good goaltending as we speak. Both guys have been at the top of their game, which allows you to put one or the other and the other guy gets a rest and the other guy stays sharp” said Julien after the Bruins 8-0 win over the Florida Panthers on December 23. ”They’re both very supportive of that approach and they’re okay with it. That just makes us such a better team by having that situation right now. We’re extremely fortunate because most teams in this league don’t have that approach or luxury.”
So with the Bruins, Rask, and Thomas all playing at the top of their game the debate begins, do the Bruins have a goalie controversy? The answer to that; yes, yes they do, but a good one in fact.
If it was up to me, I’d say go with a little more Tuukka Time here in Boston.