(Photo Credit: NHL.com)
By: Evan Michael | Follow Me On Twitter @EVAN007onTV
“What a disastrous turn of events!”
That’s how Bruins’ play-by-play man and broadcast veteran Jack Edwards described the short-handed goal that slipped through the literally short-handed glove of Tuukka Rask in the opening moments of the B’s game against the Dallas Stars at TD Garden on the 5th of November, 2018 (and he wasn’t the only one who noticed).
Tuukka Rask just let up his worst goal of the season. My God.
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) November 6, 2018
Not a good look… pic.twitter.com/EdUDGga0zP
— Boston Bruins on CLNS (@BruinsCLNS) November 6, 2018
Alright. That’s not going to quiet any Rask people. Nor should it – that’s a soft goal that should never happen. Never. Not even in AA.
— Brandon Share-Cohen (@BShareCohen) November 6, 2018
And with the 2018 season nearly 1/5 of the way completed, the play of Rask — and the team at large — has been as consistently inconsistent as any line combination not including the names of Bergeron, Marchand or Pastrnak. Yet, there are more positives than negatives to focus on in the wake of the latest B’s game which produced an emphatic OT win that was truly well-deserved and well-earned, as BNG colleague Mike Cratty sharply surmised.
(Photo Credit: NHL.com)
Among them: Rask’s ability to rebound, despite the many rebounds he pucked up, in a game where everyone associated with the spoked-B and Black N’ Gold was watching him with laser focus. And I mean fricken-sharks-with-laser-beams-attached-to-their-heads kinda focus (you know you’ve become the main subject of Boston fans’ & writers’ ire when even the World Champion Red Sox can’t pull the attention away):
— Matt Kalman (@MattKalman) November 5, 2018
Five thoughts from the first period of Bruins/Stars including another soft goal allowed by Tuukka Rask, and a bit of a…umm…small Red Sox contingent to celebrate their World Series win https://t.co/4S8jMDwJqn
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) November 6, 2018
Now, I understand we all have differing opinions on which B’s writers/bloggers/correspondents we choose to support and follow and retweet, etc… but literally EVERYONE in the biz was hellbent on ensuring Mr. Two U’s, Two K’s and Two Points was going to, point blank, face the firing squad after surrendering that initial “softie” that gave Dallas the early lead (yours included).
Yet, as the game progressed and as the B’s responded–both offensively and defensively–the play of Rask so too improved, as did his confidence and puck management, if not puck luck. What more can you ask for from a goalie, used to playing consecutive games, who was making his first start in a week. And in front of a revved-up home crowd expecting nothing less than perfection ala the other Boston team adorning B’s jerseys which greeted the likes of Rask and his teammates before puck drop.
Dropping by for puck drop! 🏒 pic.twitter.com/m5guFI75J6
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) November 6, 2018
To say he overcame the hype & hysteria wouldn’t be hysterical or too hyped-up at all. It would be accurate, just like his precision from the opening goal onward and into overtime — a time where his own focus kept the B’s in it to win it until, indeed, they won it.
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticBOS) November 6, 2018
So, like our esteemed partner from The Athletic-Boston Fluto Shinzawa wrote following the game, how can Rask stay confident after his big “W” in net? Well, acknowledging the positives and focusing on the saves made as opposed to the lone shot he missed is a solid start, as is staying crease confident during all practices & scrimmages, even if for the time being his role is to “back up” Halak (which is not easy for a veteran with “starter mentality”).
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 6, 2018
Here’s hoping us media-types can do the same because as we all know after any event labeled a “disaster,” there’s always a 100% effort to rebuild, rework and refocus on our strengths. And, when you look at the big picture, a big strength for the B’s IS in net, where they will undoubtedly need to count on a consistently winning Tuukka Rask again soon.
Maybe this game, this start, and this performance was just the rebound he needed.