NHL Boston Bruins

Why Tuukka Rask’s Bronze Medal Means More To Boston Bruins Than A Gold

James Guillory – USA Today Sports

It’s every athlete’s dream to come away with a gold medal. Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask was denied a chance of gold in the Sochi Olympics, but an impressive performance enabled Rask to come back to Boston with a bronze medal. Teammate and Bruins alternate captain Patrice Bergeron helped Canada win the gold, but Rask’s bronze will give the Bruins a bigger boost the rest of the season.

Why? It’s no secret Rask is one of the most important, if not the most important piece of the puzzle for the Bruins to finish what they started last season – bringing the Stanley Cup back to Beantown. Rask, who was awarded a sparkling new eight-year contract in the offseason, returns to the Bruins coming off his first Olympic shutout.

Despite top-10 numbers in all major statistics among NHL goalies, Rask entered the Olympics struggling a bit. So the shutout in the bronze medal game over the United States will provide an extra edge for one of the league’s elite backstops.

Rask leads the NHL with five shutouts, is sixth in wins (25) and GAA (2.11) and is fourth in save percentage (.928). But he has also been benched in four games this season, which is the most in his career. His three wins in Sochi with a 1.74 GAA should provide all the spark he needs between the pipes the rest of the season.

It may not be possible to top winning a medal for his country in the Olympics, but the Black and Gold faithful in Boston can only hope Rask will help the Bruins hoist the coveted Stanley Cup once again in a few short months.

Rask’s final push in the regular season and hopefully what turns out to be a deep playoff push will be put on hold. The netminder will not make the Bruins’ road trip to New York state against the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday night. Bruins head coach Claude Julien announced on Tuesday that Rask will remain in Boston and should return to the ice with the team on Thursday.

Rask was battling the flu in Sochi, which forced him out of Finland’s semifinal game against Sweden. The Bruins’ other four Olympians all will be on the ice for the Bs on Wednesday night.

Travis David is a Boston Bruins writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_21 or “Like” him on Facebook.