Tuukka Rask could very well be “that goalie” in 2013.
More than anything else this time of year, a Stanley Cup contender wants to have the hot ’tender in net and Rask has had several moments this spring that lead one to believe that he could be Tim Thomas 2.0.
Rask had the best weekend out of the handful of goaltenders remaining in the Cup playoffs, turning away 29 Pittsburgh shots in a Game 1 shutout win Saturday night. The Penguins had scored a whopping 13 goals in the two playoff games they played prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals (Games 4 and 5 vs. Ottawa) and they had not been shutout in the postseason prior to this past weekend. Remarkably, the Pens had not been shutout once in the 2013 regular season either and had not registered a goose-egg since Feb. 1, 2012. For Rask to pull off the feat on the road in the first game of a highly anticipated East final was stunning to most, but the Finnish netminder has had a few believers out there for quite some time now.
“The best goalies in the world, that’s how they play,” B’s wing Nathan Horton told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “He takes the angle right away. When he’s out of position, he gets back quick and he stops it.
“He’s quick like a cat. He’s fast. He’s steady. He knows how to position himself.”
It was Rask’s first shutout since a blanking of the Lightning in the regular season on April 25. He had five shutouts in 34 games started in the regular season.