Heading into this series against the New York Rangers, all the chatter was about how good a goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was and how the Bruins would have difficulty in scoring off him.
Well, the B’s have lit the lamp eight times in two games against the “King” while Tuukka Rask has outplayed him in the first two games of this series.
Head Coach Claude Julien talked about Rask’s performance and the confidence he and the team has in him.
“Well we’ve got a lot of confidence in Tuukka,” Julien said. “And if you compare both goalies, there’s no doubt that Henrik Lundqvist has more experience than Tuukka does, but that doesn’t change anything. Our guys have done a great job in front of him and what he showed in the second period-like I said it could have been a totally different game had he not stood tall for us in the second period. So, he allowed us to recover and play a much better period in the third. He’s been good for us all year and our guys have lots of confidence in him so it’s about having confidence in your goaltender and finding ways to get through the other one.”
Rask is 2-0 against the Rangers in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs compiling 68 saves while allowing only four goals. He looks steady and locked in as the B’s head to New York for Game 3.
“My confidence is always high,” Rask said. “That’s just how I try to be. No matter what happens, I try to stay calm and even keeled. Confidence can’t go any lower or higher, I think.”
Rask deflected the question about this series being about the goalie matchup, but focused on the team aspect of this series.
“Yeah, I mean it’s a good challenge obviously,” Rask said. “I know I can’t let in any lead goals most nights because he is who he is. But, then again it’s a team game and we’re more focused on the Rangers than any individual.”
Not only has he been rock solid against the Rangers, but he has been phenomenal during the entire playoffs for the Black and Gold.
Rask is 6-3 with a .928 save percentage. His goals against average sits at 2.32 while he has played in 569 minutes (ranked 2nd in playoffs).
Even Brad Marchand chimed in (shocking) on Tuukka Rask’s performance thus far in the playoffs.
New York defenseman Dan Girardi was even talking about the play of Rask in their locker room after the game on Sunday afternoon.
“He was really big for them,” Girardi said. “He made some big saves when pucks got turned over. I think Steps (Derek Stepan) hit a post there. We had a really good second and we just couldn’t get that extra one by him there. I thought it was a pretty good game.”
Rask continues to silence the critics who doubted he could be a number one goalie or a big time goalie in the playoffs. Right now, he is one of the hottest goaltenders in the league while his play is making B’s fans forget about Tim Thomas.
It looks like “King Lundqvist” has misplaced his crown and Rask is wearing it through the first two games of the series.
It may be a different story when Rask heads to Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, but nothing is fazing him right now as he is outplaying one of the best goaltenders on the planet.