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Boston Bruins: A Look at Tuukka Rask

Boston Bruins goaltender, Tuukka Rask.

There most likely has not been a more decisive athlete in Boston over the last decade than goalie Tuukka Rask. There are New Englanders out there who absolutely love him and want nothing more than to see him succeed. Then there are those who absolutely despise him and want nothing more than the Bruins to dump him this off season.

Tuukka Rask with the Vezina Trophy
Tuukka Rask after winning the Vezina Trophy in 2014. Via the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Tuukka Rask’s Legacy In Boston

Tuukka Rask has been a goaltender in Boston for well over a decade now. He took over the starting spot from goaltender Tim Thomas in 2010, lost it to Thomas in 2011 and then got it back in 2012 and never let it go again. Over that time, Tuukka was able to staple himself as an icon in a city already filled with icons.

As a Bruin, Tuukka Rask has won a Vezina Trophy, a Jennings Trophy, one Stanley Cup championship with three total finals appearances and even a bronze medal for Finland in the Sochi Olympics. Looking at his hardware alone, it is easy to see that Tuukka is one of the best goaltenders out there. However, his critics beg to differ.

Tuukka Rask with his family.
Tuukka Rask and his family. The main reason for his departure from the 2020 NHL bubble in Toronto. Via CBS Boston

Tuukka Rask’s “Troubled” Career

Tuukka was the Bruins goalie when the team blew a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers in 2010. Tuukka was the goalie when the Bruins lost two Stanley Cup Finals. Tuukka was only the Bruins backup goalie when they won the Cup in 2011 and the most egregious of all infractions was that he “abandoned” the Bruins in the 2020 playoffs. These are only just a few reasons why Tuukka’s critic’s do not trust him.

This unfortunately though is the life of a goaltender in a large hockey market. The goaltender is always the easy scapegoat for a team’s loss. It does not matter how well the rest of the team did, the goalie will still get blamed.

Tuukka Rask’s Future in Boston

The 2021 season was the final year on Tuukka’s previous contract. The goaltender and the Bruins now have big decisions to make. Tuukka himself is looking at hip surgery that would sideline him until 2022. With that and Bruins’ young goalie Jeremy Swayman looking NHL ready, Tuukka’s time in Boston may be up.

Tuukka though says he is ready to play for Boston again in exit interviews conducted following the Bruins’ playoff exit. “At this point in my life, I don’t see any reason to go anywhere else,” Rask said to the Boston media last week. With Rask wanting a return, it is now up to the Bruins to make an offer. But with Tuukka’s health up in the air, the team may not even make one.

 

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1 comment

Is Jeremy Swayman Ready For the a Bigger Role in Boston? July 5, 2021 at 9:33 am

[…] Bruins will most likely call upon Swayman a lot more in the 2021-2022 season. With Tuukka Rask’s future in Boston in question, the extent of Swayman’s responsibilities is yet to be known. But is Swayman ready for an […]

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