An embarrassing six-goals-allowed performance in Game 4 not withstanding, Tuukka Rask has been phenomenal this postseason and deserves a little bit more credit than he is getting. I understand that the Boston Bruins are on their last leg and that the scapegoating has already begun — Zdeno Chara is not well liked in Boston right now — however, Rask deserves no such treatment.
Believe it or not, Rask was not even drafted by the Bruins. Boston acquired the goaltender from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Andrew Raycott — as fate would have it this move went down on June 24th, 2006 which is exactly seven years removed from Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.
Considering that the latter isn’t even on an NHL team, it’s safe to say the Bruins got the upper hand in that deal. Anyway, the next time you start bashing No. 40 for letting a few measly goals in, remember that Raycott was historically awful in his first year with Toronto allowing a league-worst 205 goals in 2006-07.
On the other hand, Rask led the NHL with five shutouts this season which means that every 9.6 games in 2012-13, Rask pitched a shutout.
The Chicago Blackhawks won the 2013 President’s Trophy for a reason — holding Rask to some insanely high standard only puts No. 40 behind the eight ball and makes his job harder than it needs to be. Allowing a mere two goals against a powerhouse squad like Chicago is a bigger accomplishment than is being advertised. Even still, Rask has shutout this potent Blackhawks team and has shown every inclination that he can do it once again in a crucial Game 6.
All in all, the pessimistic Boston crowd needs to appreciate Rask and understand that this team isn’t even in the Stanley Cup Finals without its stout goalie between the pipes.