By: Andrew Thompson Twitter: @Godwentwhoops
The Boston Bruins came off their bye week by beating the Montreal Canadiens in a shootout on Saturday night. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask shook off some early rust to shut down the Habs offense and helped secure two points for the Black and Gold.
Tuukka Rask has been an exemplary player for the last month and a half. Rask was named the NHL’s First Star of the Month for December for his strong play in front of the crease. The 30-year old Finnish netminder has not lost a game in regulation since November 26 when the B’s fell to the Edmonton Oilers. Since that loss, Rask has gone 12-0-2, with an outstanding 1.69 goals against average and a Vezina-worthy .938 save percentage.
Rask’s overall numbers look much better as well. Rask is currently 15-8-4, putting up a 2.25 goals against average and a respectable .919 save percentage (705 saves). Since 2012, no NHL goalie has seen more ice-time than Rask. He has bounced back from an ugly to start to the season, and he’s starting to enter the Vezina conversation for the first time this season.
Rask has always been one of those players that have been exceptionally candid with the media.
Tuukka Rask asked if there was anything special about going up against Claude Julien for the 1st time: “He’s not playing a shift on the ice, so it doesn’t really matter. He’s coaching, so it was nothing special”
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) January 14, 2018
Tuukka Rask: “I was horse bleep all night.”
— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) January 8, 2018
Rask has always been honest about his game play. It’s one of the things that has resonated with most of the Bruins fan base.
Anton Khudobin has been bringing home the bacon for Boston as well. His strong play at the start of the season kept the Black and the Gold above water as they team floundered through a tough string of injuries. Those injuries often placed Bruins rookies against some of the best in the NHL, and it was Dobby who kept the team standing.
Khudobin will be in the crease for Boston as they take on the Dallas Stars this afternoon. It will be his first start since he shutdown the Carolina Hurricanes in a 7-1 shellacking of his former team.
Khudobin’s recent numbers are also quite strong. In his last three starts, Khudobin is 2-0-1 with a 1.30 goals against average and a .959 save percentage. For the season, Dobby is 9-2-3, with a respectable 2.37 goals against average, and a .925 save percentage.
The Boston Bruins have risen like a phoenix from the ashes this season. After months of solid play, the Black and Gold find themselves second in the Atlantic Division. At the moment, they have a 99.9% chance of making the postseason (it was under 40% in the middle of November). The B’s got where they are through perseverance, determination, and the strength of two amazing goaltenders.