November 11th, 2013 by

Player of the Week: November 3rd-10th, 2013

Player of the Week: November 3rd-10th, 2013

He started off the week with an overtime loss to Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars, but bounced back very nicely with two victories between the pipes for the Boston Bruins.

Although Tuukka Rask took an overtime loss last Tuesday night, he recorded 34 saves before allowing shootout goals to ex-Bruins Seguin and Rich Peverley. Two nights later, he stymied the Florida Panthers with a 23 save effort on 24 shots and to cap off his solid week he beat the Toronto Maple Leafs with 33 saves on 34 shots.

Rask improved to 9-4-1 on the season with a .944 save percentage to go along with a miniscule 1.63 goals against average. He signed a mega contract before this season and he is living up to the billing like everyone thought he would.

Rask was particularly hard on himself after the overtime loss to the Dallas Stars, but knows he needs to keep things simple.

“I try to have a lot of responsibility every year, every game, but I think the consequences of me not being on top of my game might be a little different than in the past,” Rask said. “I just try to stop every puck and keep the game tight. If we’re not playing our best, you know-it’s been a little usual situation for us, giving up chances and what kind of chances we’ve been giving up, but it’s part of the game and we just have to battle through that.”

Rask especially was satisfied with his defense against the Maple Leafs Saturday night.

“They were good,” he said. “I think they played very solid. A lot of blocked shots. The second period they caught us off guard where we didn’t play good as a team, but I think the five D’s (defensemen) battled hard and did the job.”

Head Coach Claude Julien chimed in and agrees that Rask has to play extra well to compensate for the more offensive defense.

“We do and with that kind of look from some of our D’s, you know that you may end up giving a few more chances than you’re used to when you have a bunch of stay-at-home defensemen,” Julien said.

Rask has answered the bell in that sense allowing only two goals in his last two games. It seems as if his puck-moving defensemen who attack the offensive zone does not bother him one bit.

The 26-year old Finnish goalie ranks fifth in the league in saves and save percentage, fourth in goals against, six in shutouts and sixth in wins.

Rask is the least of the B’s problems at this juncture of the season. He is keeping them in games and deserves to be in every conversation as one of the NHL’s top goaltenders.

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