Monday, February 8, 2010

Rask puts a stop to Bruins’ losing ways

As expected, Year One of Tuukka Rask’s NHL career has been a tale of caution. With far too much evidence, starting from the early demise of Hannu Toivonen, of the woes that come from fast-tracking young goaltenders, the Bruins have practiced patience with Rask, feeding the 22-year-old just enough playing time to keep him from going soft.

But with results at a premium and a hot goalie desperately required, the Bruins have recognized that now, amid a season-altering slump, is no time to continue treating Rask like a rookie.

Before 21,273 at the Bell Centre yesterday, for the first time since playing in six straight in November when Tim Thomas was shelved because of a hand injury, Rask made his third consecutive start. By backstopping the Bruins to a 3-0 victory, Rask halted the team’s 10-game winless streak and proved that he’ll be back between the pipes tomorrow against Buffalo.

“We’ve been looking at the way he’s played, and technically, he’s been pretty sound,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “Even those last two games, he got us a point. The reason we didn’t get two points is because we didn’t do our job offensively. He’s been good.

“Right now, we’re at a stage where you’ve got to go with the goalie that’s playing the best. I think right now, he’s playing the best. We know what Tim [Thomas] can do. Tim will be there at some point. There’s no doubt. But right now, I think Tuukka’s done a pretty good job.’’

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