By: Andrew Taverna | Follow me on Twitter @andrewtaverna
Tuukka Rask is statistically at the top of many categories in his career. Last night’s 4-1 win over the New York Islanders put him in another impressive statistical group when he won his 300th NHL game.
With his 300th win, Rask joins a relatively small list of seven active goaltenders who have also met that milestone. Some of the names you might be familiar with are Marc-Andre Fleury, Pekka Rinne, and Carey Price. In addition to joining the list with the gentlemen named above, Rask is one of only 37 goaltenders all-time to reach this critical career milestone.
To add to how impressive this career statistic is, Rask is tied for fifth when it comes to the speed he reached this milestone. Coming in ahead of him is Jacques Plante, Andy Moog, Fleury, Martin Brodeur, and he tied fellow Finish native Peeka Rinne.
If you’re still reading and thinking to yourself, so what? Let’s add one more important statistic to this ever-growing list of why his 300th win was so important. Rask is only one of 17 goaltenders all-time to reach this milestone while only playing with one team. That’s right, Tukkaa Rask has completed all of these games while playing with the Boston Bruins franchise.
The Milestone Matters
There has been a lot of excitement from the fan base around this milestone, and due to injury, it took a lot longer to get there this year than anyone expected. That said, while being interviewed after the game last night, Tuukka Rask seemed genuinely excited about finally getting there.
“Well I think I’ve been fortunate enough to play on a really good team throughout my career. So that helps a lot,” Rask said. “We’ve had some great defenses throughout the years and I’m just happy to be a part of that. Super grateful that I have been able to play so many years. But it’s a great milestone. It’s one of those that once you’re done playing hockey and years after that, you’ll think about your career and what you accomplished. And it’s probably going to be a nice memory.”
It often seems like Rask takes the approach of thinking about enjoying things after his career. Still, as the media availability continued, Rask kept reiterating what an unbelievable opportunity it has been to play with this franchise. “Like we all know, this is a great organization, a great hockey town, great sports town. So I didn’t know that when I was coming in here, you know, 18, 19 years old. But I very quickly learned how passionate our fans are,” Rask, who seemed reflective at the time, continued. “So it’s been an honor to be here all my career. And like I said earlier, that big thing has been playing in good teams and great defenses, and so that has helped me and other goalies out a lot. So it’s a true honor, and it still keeps going.”
During his interview appearance last night, Rask addressed the concern of the entire fan base about his current state of health, “I’m gonna be sore for sure. That was to be expected. I felt good. Injury-wise, it was really good. I felt no pain or nothing whatsoever.” With that in mind, it sounds like Rask is ready to start his next one soon and warming up to be ready for what fans hope will be a long playoff run.