It’s that time of the year again, when all of a sudden Tuukka Rask hears “playoffs” and he starts to look like a JV hockey high school goalie.
The Bruins lost to the Tampa Bay Lighting 6-3, Rask giving up 5 goals before getting pulled. The Bruins are now on a 4 game losing streak, and with 8 games left they are the second wild card spot in the playoffs. Trailing them by only 2 points are the NY Islanders and 3 points are the Tampa Bay Lighting. And for the Bruins it’s not an easy schedule for them the rest of the way; going up against the Islanders towards the end of March; then Chicago, Tampa and Washington in April.
If your a Bruins fan, like myself, you know that Tuukka Rask has been our nightmare when it comes to relying on him. Last couple years when you think the Bruins are going to make the playoffs, Rask plays awful. Towards March, Rask just seems to shut down and plays poorly. You can play the blame game on anyone really; the offense, defense, coach, management, anyone really. But in this case, it’s the goalie that’s let us down.
So what do you do? One option is to let Tuukka Rask go, move on from him. The whole Bruins roster basically needs an upgrade; from Chara to Krejci, just need younger, versatile players on that team. But starting with getting a new goalie is a step in the right direction. When it comes to the playoffs he’s just not the same goalie that we’d normally see in the regular season.
Just think about when he won the Venzina trophy in 2013-2014 season, the Bruins captured the Presidents Cup trophy that same year. Everyone thought that they were the clear favorite to win the Cup. We had the best goalie and the best defense that year, we couldn’t possibly lose. Then they lost to Montreal in 7 games in the second round. They had a 3-2 lead in that series before losing 4-0 in Game 6 and 3-1 in Game 7. Rask didn’t perform like a Venzina trophy winner against our rivals and since then have not made it back to the playoffs.
Another example could be the year before that; Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, we had a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period. Towards the last 2 minutes of play, when we all thought there was gonna be a Game 7. Then the Blackhawks scored; 2-2 tie game. Then 20 seconds later, Chicago’s David Bolland scored on Rask, who was basically 5 feet away from the net. Awful play by Rask who, if he stayed in net, would of stopped that play. But like Rask fashion, he pulled away from the net to block a shot, from the blue line, that he could of made in net; and Bolland got that rebound and scored.
Rask was a good goaltender; reason why I say “was” is because he’s starting to fall off. Maybe he needs a new team; a fresh start somewhere else. We need a goalie who can bring us into the postseason; whether that’s in the draft or a trade or anything. Boston needs a new goalie, whether or not we make the playoffs this season. Rask’s time in Boston has been long over due; time to restructure this team.