Can Jaroslav Halak Challenge Rask for Starting Job?

Ladies and gentleman, it’s that time of year where the only sport going on is baseball and everyone else is struggling with stories to put out. However, we must press on to get them out while we wait for the other sports to start back up. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the Bruins newest goaltender.

Welcome to Boston, Jaroslav Halak. This offseason, the Bruins signed Halak to a two year contract to replace last year’s backup goaltender, Anton Khudobin, who left via free agency. Khudobin was excellent last year and constantly pushed Tuukka Rask to be his best. While not always pretty, Khudobin did his job very well behind Rask. Halak, on the other hand, was a starter in New York for the Islanders and may push Rask even harder.

While his numbers weren’t as impressive as Khudobin’s, Halak will be an upgrade in net for Boston. After playing for an erratic Islanders team for the past four seasons, he will come in motivated to resurrect his once strong career. Rask hasn’t seen any competition for the starting job since 2011-2012 when he lit a fire under Tim Thomas to begin the great Cup run to end the drought. Hopefully that fire can be his this time around with the help of Halak.

The Boston net has been Rask’s job for the past seven seasons and he’s had decent help behind him during those years. With two very capable goalies this year, Rask could see some extra rest and be ready for a potential Cup run. While Rask performed well in the past playoffs, a couple of games were lost because of his play. Him getting extra rest in favor of Halak will be key; however, with better performance from Rask, this could be the year that Tuukka haters come out in full force “trade him” mode.

I’ll stop those haters right now. Unless you can get an insane haul, trading Rask would be insane. You still can’t trust Halak for a full cup run and Tuukka has proven he can be the top goalie in the league. I could see Rask involved​ in a deal for Jeff Skinner or Wayne Simmonds, but those are just fantasy until some real rumors​ start swirling around.

This should be an exciting camp for the Bruins as we can see the young kids trying to earn a roster spot, and we will see how the competition between Rask and Halak shapes up for the season.

Photos: Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

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