( Above Photo Credit: NHL .com )
By: Lauren Campbell Follow Me On Twitter @lalalalaurrrren
If someone told me back in late October that the Boston Bruins would have 53 points heading into their bye week, I wouldn’t believe them – but alas, here we are on January 11 and the B’s are 23-10-7 with 53 points, good for second place in the Atlantic Division.
The three months of this season have been quite the roller coaster – from fans calling for Tuukka Rask to get off this team, to not being able to win two games in a row in regulation until mid-November, it became increasingly difficult to watch this team.
However, through the sloppy play, the sluggish hustle and the soft goals given up by Rask, this team started to click on all cylinders – and I believe it all started after Bruce Cassidy benched Rask in favor of the number two goalie, Anton Khudobin.
Khudobin had some solid starts and it seemed as if he was giving Rask a run for that number one spot back in November. The team seemed to be playing better in front of their back-up – they scored more goals, the urgency was there and the defense looked close to perfect.
This sparked a lot of conversation that Rask was the problem and either he was unhappy with the team or the players didn’t like him so in spite of Rask, the team played worse when he was in net.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 2, 2018
The above argument seemed asinine but the Rask haters would really force it…that was until December when number 40 seemed to all of a sudden turn a bad start to the season completely around and come up with some big wins.
The pessimists were suddenly quiet after Rask was named the NHL’s first star for the month of December after he completed the month with nine wins and two shutouts and led all NHL goalies with a .955 save percentage.
The netminder currently has a 14-8-4 record and the team has at least one point in his last 13 starts. Those are pretty good numbers for a goalie who started off the season not looking like a starter.
Rask was essentially non-existent for a month but has since led Boston to 22 points through 14 games in December. Before their mandatory bye-week, Rask blamed himself for the 6-5 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He didn’t make up any excuses or throw his team under the bus, he simply put the blame on him.
Make it the big 4️⃣ 0️⃣ for @tuukkarask!
— NHL (@NHL) December 31, 2017
The second half of the season starts on Saturday and it will be a huge test for Rask (assuming he gets the start) against their rival and former head coach, Claude Julien and the Montreal Canadiens.
It will be interesting to see if Rask keeps up this hot streak he’s on or if he will fizzle out. One thing is for certain: the Rask haters are waiting for him to fail while the supporters are waiting for him to prevail.