Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports

Civian: Tuukka Rask just crashed your party

Sara Civian
April 20, 2018 - 1:03 am

I really do think that we Bostonians are a rational bunch, for the most part.

But drive down Tim Thomas Avenue, take the first left off Food Poisoning Lane, and eventually you’ll find a tiny little condo. As small as that condo might be, it’s been hosting the most obnoxious party ever for years on end.

You’d think the cops would’ve broken this thing up by now.

The neighbors’ complaints were all compelling enough: a smoking gun in a fantastic 2013 playoff run with a .940 save percentage, a 2014 Vezina Trophy dangling off the living room mantle the party had no problem playing pong around, the best career save percentage of all time among active goaltenders buried somewhere underneath the empties.

Of course, there’s always that one guy at the party still wearing his high school class ring. This one is a proud graduate of the Chicago Blackhawks’ class of 2010, and boy is he ready to talk your ear off about the best day of his life -- Game 6.

What is it about Tuukka Rask, you guys?

Of course he has his moments, but it seems like he lives and dies in the court of public opinion with every single shot directed his way.

Whatever it is about Rask, we’re all beyond sick of this party.

Luckily there’s a new sheriff in town, and he just threw the stack of old complaints in the garbage because he doesn’t need them anymore. Closing Time by Semisonic just started playing.

Finally, the stage was near perfect for Rask to leave no doubt about his quality in big games. He had to stave off a 2-2 series tie in Toronto. Patrice Bergeron was suddenly scratched. His team was doing him absolutely no favors, either, with uncomfortably long stretches in its defensive zone in a 1-1 game.

The Leafs had 6:58 minutes of offensive zone possession through the game, the Bruins just 3:23. The Leafs had 32 shots on goal and 20 scoring chances, the Bruins 21 and 15.

So the Bruins pulled out a 3-1 win.

Were the saves “soft,” though?

 

You tell me.

The Bruins had been putting up a fight on the forecheck below the goal line in the first, but that was about it. It was an indication that they weren’t sleepwalking through this one, and they could eventually break through if they bought some time to figure it out.

Rask held Toronto off long enough for the rest of the team to get it together around him, including the second-line effort that made it 3-1. That desperately needed to happen without Bergeron, especially with the way Tomas Plekanec’s been solving the first line.

Would you prefer this information in a chart?

 

(Chart via naturalstattrick.com)

This doesn’t mean Rask will never allow a questionable goal again, and he might even have a bad game. That concession is something you have to keep screaming over the music at this party, but you know the guy wearing the class ring will run with every opportunity to talk about his glory days. 

He might even bring this up:

If you hear him yelling to no one in particular about Rask’s one (recovered) blip of the game, can you please just send him home in an Uber and order him a pizza?

He's the one who said Rask needed to show up in a big game in the first place, and at least for now this party is over.

 

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