As I listened to Zolak and Bertrand on 98.5 The Sports Hub today at work, a preview for the Bruins and Flames playing in China this weekend came across the airwaves. After hearing that, two thoughts went through my head, one being "aw yes its almost hockey season"and the other being "god I hate Tuukka Rask."
I will be the first, second, and third person to admit I am not a hockey connoisseur. But at the same time I like to think I can hold my own in conversations that involve Canada's national past time. With that being said, I hate Tuukka Rask. People will be like "bwaaaaah his numbers are always good bwaaaah" or "bwaaaaah who do you want in net? bwaaaaah." The truth is those are both good points and questions to which I respond "anyone who performs well in big moments and is not eating up 7 million dollars of cap space a year."
Tuukka Rask is a good goal tender. But is he one to rely on? Is he one to steal the Bruins a few games in the playoffs when facing a better team? To that I say no, he is not. Time and time again Tuukka Rask has failed to show up in big moments in the playoffs, regular season, and even the Olympics. But yet the boo hoo Tuukka crew continues to back him up like they are receiving some of that 7 million dollars he is fleecing the Bruins for. I am not blaming Tuukka for signing that contract, I still hate Peter Chiarlli but he is off ruining another franchise so I can't really get hung up on him. But lets take a quick look at how Tuukka has let down his team:
2018: The Bruins lost the Atlantic Division by just one point to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Which means the Bruins would have played the New Jersey Devils and Tampa would have played Toronto. The Bruins would not have gone to game seven against New Jersey, and Tampa Toronto would have been an absolute dog fight. The Bruins could have beat the Lightning or Maple Leafs after they beat each other up but I can play up hypotheticals for as long as Alaskan summer days. But looking at the last week of the season, the Bruins were @ Philly (OT loss), @ Tampa (4-0 L), @ Florida (3-2 L), Ottawa (5-2 W), and Florida (4-2 L). Tough week. But Tuukka definitely stood on his head in the win against Ottawa and Khudobin had to get beat so bad in the rest of those games? Had to be the case. Sadly to my dismay it wasn't. Tuukka went 0-3-0 in that stretch. Khudobin went 1-0-1 in that stretch, recording 3 out of 4 possible points for the B's. What a backup should do. With both goal tenders each facing one playoff team. All Tuukka needed to do is steal a game like a 7 million dollar goal tender should but he could not do that. From there being up 3-1 after game 4 in the Toronto series, it should've never went to game 7, but that is just me.
2016: Lets start at Gillette Stadium on January 1st. Bruins, Canadiens, Winter Classic. Every hockey players dream to play in front of 70,000 fans in an out door venue. Should not be hard to get amped up for that. Fast forward 60 minutes after puck drop, 5-1 Canadiens. WITHOUT CARRIE PRICE. Tuukka Rask got out played by Mike Condon. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, luckily I was in the red seat section at Gillette watching that game (humble brag) because if I were any closer I probably would have thrown up. Fast forward two months to March when the Bruins are well inside the playoff picture until they go out west on March 15th to play San Jose and lose 3-2. After beating the Islanders on March 12th the Bruins went on a 2-9-1 stretch to end the season and miss the playoffs by 3 points. Tuukka literally pooped his pants on the final day of the season. He missed the final game of the season with "a bug". *eyeroll* a game that needed to be won in order to give the Bruins a chance to make the playoffs, but instead the Bruins rolled over and got their teeth kicked in by the Senators, 6-1.
2015: Like 2016, the Bruins were well inside the playoff picture in March but once again miss the playoffs by 2 points. They went 0-2-1 in their last three games. All they needed was one more win and he could not lead the team to victory. So one year after recording the most points in the entire league, the Bruins miss the playoffs by a single game.
2014: Once again our most hated rivals, the Canadiens are in town. This time for a playoff series. The Bruins like I said above recorded the most points in the league in 2014. They were an absolute wagon. The Bruins were up 3-2 in the series going back to Montreal for Game 6. Once again Tuukka poops his pants, 4-0 loss. Back in Boston for Game 7, need a goalie to stand on his head. 2:13 into the game, Dale Weise lights the lamp. 1-0 for the bleu, blanc, and rouge. The Habs never looked back. 3-1 win, series win. (Individual trophies are for the birds). He also missed the medal game of the Olympics with another illness, so not even the pride for playing for his country could make him show up.
2013: 17 seconds, stand on your head for 17 seconds. Force a game seven. Come up big. Just once for me.
2012/2011: Tim Thomas years.
2010: For anyone who is a Bruins fan, this one is simple. The Flyers. The Bruins were up 3-0 in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they lose the series. The blew a 3-0 lead. With Tuukka in net. All he needed to do was steal a single game. Actually all he needed to do was stop ONE more shot in regulation in game four and they sweep the Flyers. Just one shot for a guy who would go one to make 7 million, that doesn't seem to much to ask for.
Tuukka Rask is now 2-2 in Game 7's. But realistically should be 0-3. I'll reiterate the fact that Toronto should've never forced a Game 7 this past post season. The Bruins also had no business beating Toronto in Game 7 in the first round of 2013. Down 4-1 with a little over 10 minutes left in the third? Only Toronto could've blown that lead.
Finally I want to end this blog saying Tuukka Rask makes too much money. Tuukka is making 7 mil a year, which ties him with Pekka Rinne as the fourth highest goalie in the league. Since Tuukka Rask got beat by the Blackhawks in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. The Goalies to win Stanley Cups are as follows, Jonathan Quick (11th highest) , Corey Crawford (8th highest), Matt Murray *Twice*(25th highest), and Braden Holtby (7th highest). Each one of these players makes less than a guy who is the goal tender version of David Price. Great in the regular season but come a big game they are like ducks, ""Ducks look calm and collected, but beneath the water they're kicking away." -David Price"-Tuukka Rask. I've wanted to trade Rask probably since the Cretaceous period. I still do. A good defense, timely offense, and a hot goal tender will win a Stanley Cup. Until Tuukka sacks up, I'm out on Rask. That was talking Hockey.