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An Outsider’s Perspective on Tuukka Rask

I have to admit that when it comes to the Boston Bruins, I do not follow them closely like a real Bruins’ fan would.

While I went to college in Massachusetts for four years, I grew a soft spot for the Bruins. Ever since graduating in 2006, I have managed to keep my eye on the Bruins every season so while I am not an expert on the team, I do feel like I have an informed opinion on them.

With that said, my opinion is mainly on one player. It appears that I am not the only one with an opinion on this particular player because it seems like each season that the Bruins do not win the Cup, the opinions and voices on the player grow louder and louder.

If you are reading this closely then you know that I am talking about Tuukka Rask. Rask has been a Bruin for a very long time so it is completely understandable why there would be so many negative opinions about him given that he has not won their favorite team a Cup nor has he come through in big games.

With that said, I really think that Bruins’ fans need to leave Rask alone and just let him play the game.¬† Yes, the above things are certainly true, but at the same time, there are a lot of things that you Bruins’ fans are missing when it comes to your No. 1 goaltender.

Folks, Rask, 31, has won you a lot of games ever since he joined the organization. He has 242 regular season wins and another 35 in the postseason.

Tuukka has won at least 30 games in five straight seasons. There are only a select few masked men who can accomplish something like this and your netminder happens to be one of them.

Besides the solid win totals, he has posted excellent save percentages. Just look at these numbers: .931, .918, .929, .929, .930, .922, .915, .915, .917. When you average out these numbers, you end up with a .922 career save percentage, which I’d say is pretty darn good.

Speaking of average, Tuukka’s goals against is impressive. He has a career 2.27 goals against average, which could end up being¬† Hall of Fame worthy if he keeps posting numbers like those.

Believe it or not, his numbers in the playoffs are about as good as they are in the regular season. In the postseason, he has a 2.25 goals against average and a .924 save percentage.

When you put up numbers like that in the playoffs, you should have a team that has either won more Cups or who has at least made it out of the first or second round. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Bean Town.

We are also talking about a goaltender that won a Vezina Trophy as the league’s top puck stopper in 2013-14. That is the year he had 36 wins with a 2.04.

Whether you believe it or not, Tuukka is an elite goaltender. His numbers in both the regular season and playoffs show it. His Vezina Trophy shows it. His ability to stop the puck shows it.

There is no doubt that he needs to be better in critical times, but other than that, you should be more than happy to have Rask between the pipes for your favorite hockey team.


Photo: Boston Herald

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