January 6, 2012

Another day, another shutout for red-hot Rask

By Jesse Connolly

BOSTON – By all accounts, it was an easy night at the office for Tuukka Rask, but a lack of quality scoring chances for the Flames on Thursday certainly takes nothing away from the remarkable roll the Bruins netminder currently finds himself on. 

Rask stopped all 25 shots he faced in Boston’s 9-0 railroading of Calgary at TD Garden, giving him three shutouts in his last four starts.

“It’s always a shutout,” Rask said when asked to compare the win to his recent efforts. “They didn’t have too many scoring chances but it’s a shutout. And you did you’re job as good as you can, I guess.”

The 24-year-old netminder has now allowed just one goal in his last 276-plus minutes of action, during which he’s stopped 128 of the 129 shots he’s faced – good for a .992 save percentage.

“That’s a tough question to ask,” Rask responded when asked if this is the best he’s ever felt. “I felt good last year, I felt good two years ago. I just haven’t let in any goals lately and that’s probably how people feel when asking that question but it’s a tough question. I always feel pretty good.”

Unlike in the past, Rask has received an overwhelming surplus of goal support during a stretch that’s seen him earn victories in nine of his last 11 appearances. During that time, Boston has tallied five goals or more on five occasions.

“You try to stop every puck no matter what,” he said. “As a goalie, you don’t play (based on the) score, you just focus on every puck and so on. Guys have been able to score a lot of goals and play solid 60-minute games the past few games that I’ve played. The biggest key has been playing a solid 60 minutes and then keeping them on the outside and not giving too many scoring chances.”

With the win, the Bruins have now been victorious in 23 of their last 27 games. Rask welcomes the task of making sure the good times keep rolling for Boston and has certainly done his part since the team’s tumultuous start to the campaign.

“As a goalie you kind of like that challenge, sometimes,” he said. “But when it goes south like that then you kind of wish you were somewhere else. But it’s fun to watch that guys are having fun out there, scoring goals out there and still playing defense.”

If he can come close to keeping up this pace in the second half of the season, don’t count on things heading south for Rask and the Bruins any time soon.