By: Andrew Taverna | Follow me on Twitter: @andrewtaverna
According to Bruce Cassidy, during his media availability, it would appear that Tuukka Rask could see some game action before getting called up to the big club. That game action would come with the Providence Bruins. There’s one massive caveat to that plan; Tuukka Rask will need a contract.
There have been many discussions recently about the possible return of Tuukka Rask to the Bruins roster. One of the most heated battles between Bruins Twitter is often around the heated debate as to whether Rask was the best Boston goaltender to take the ice. The truth is, as much as Bruins fans might not like this, it’s not that debatable. The numbers show that Rask has been Boston’s best goaltender in franchise history from a statistical point of view. With a career record of 306-163-66, Rask has been arguably the most consistent aspect of the Bruins franchise over the past decade. His career 2.27 goals-against-average and .921 save percentage put him in an elite category with not many other names. Like it or not, Rask is outstanding at what he does.
The Bruins have been inviting Rask to practice with the core group for several weeks now as the EBUG (Emergency Backup Goalie), and he’s been an excellent addition for them. That said, you could argue, and rightfully so, that Boston’s most significant issue isn’t in nets. With a tandem of Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark playing decent hockey before the break, having a 3rd goalie could present some complex challenges. Based on current contract situations, here is what would likely happen:
Tuukka Rask and Linus Ullmark would be your 1A and 1B tandem in Boston. Swayman would be sent back to Providence to ensure he continues to get ample playing time. Alternatively, based on the new rules from the refined CBA, you could have the triple-headed threat of Rask/Ullmark/Swayman, but that would seriously limit the playing time of Swayman and likely be detrimental to his career development. It’s more likely you would see a Providence netminder or someone from the Maine Mariners get the call to be the 3rd goalie in that rotation.
Either way, fans will complain that Rask isn’t needed. If you really want the Bruins to have their best chance of winning, though, you bring back your franchise-caliber goaltender to take the crease once again.
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