Bruins ‘two-kka’ wins away from Stanley Cup

Tuukka Rask has been phenomenal for Boston in the B's latest Cup run. (Getty Images)
Tuukka Rask has been phenomenal for Boston in the B’s latest Cup run. (Getty Images)

The notion seems silly now but let’s remember that when the 2013 NHL playoffs began a month and a half ago, one of the biggest question marks surrounding the Bruins was regarding the play of goaltender Tuukka Rask. Sure he was coming off a very good regular season (19-10-5, 2.00 GAA, .929 save percentage, 5 shutouts) but his playoff history was checkered at best, plus he hadn’t appeared in the postseason since 2010. Boston still has plenty of work to do as it holds a 2-1 lead over Chicago in the Stanley Cup Final but most can agree that if the B’s win twice more, Rask is a lock for the Conn Smythe Award (playoff MVP) on a team with other worthy candidates – Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

There is something ironic about Rask becoming arguably the best goaltender in the NHL when he wasn’t even nominated for the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) during the regular season. Regardless if the Bruins win this Cup or not, you can count on one thing: Rask, a restricted free agent in the prime of his career at age 26, is going to get paid this summer like the franchise goaltender he has proven to be. At the moment, Rask leads the NHL in all four major goaltending categories for the playoffs: wins (14), goals against average (1.64), save percentage (.946) and shutouts (3). By nature, he’s not the most vocal guy but he’s letting his play speak for itself. His teammates certainly appreciate his superhuman efforts.

“He was very strong (in Game 3),” said Chara. “He made some big saves especially when we needed it, so for sure it was a big performance by him.”

This run put together by the Bruins and especially Rask-who has the most important job on the team-gets more impressive by the day. In the past seven games, against the top two teams in the NHL-Pittsburgh and Chicago-he’s recorded all three of his shutouts. In three other games he allowed just one goal, the lone exception was the Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime win in Game 1. So he’s given up seven goals in the last seven games and keep in mind that includes six overtimes (2 vs. Penguins & 4 vs. Blackhawks).

Bruins head coach Claude Julien put it best when he talked about Rask following his latest masterpiece in Game 3: “He’s been focused since day one of the playoffs. You watch him on off days and he’s quiet, focused and calm. Right now all his energy is put towards the game, how he needs to get his rest and relax. When the game starts, he’s a focused individual.”

Pittsburgh only scored two goals in four games against Rask so even though Chicago doubled that in Game 1, they have only had one in the past two games. If he keeps playing like this, you can bet that the Blackhawks will eventually tap out like the Penguins did. To beat Rask and the Bruins (who have won seven of their last eight games) right now, you almost have to play a perfect game.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.