MONTREAL Tuukka Rask is trying not to get down.
But the losing and the lack of support cant be easy on a goaltender who's been on a long streak of buzzards luck.
The Finnish goaltender dropped to 0-3 for the season after losing, 4-2, to the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The defeat dropped Rask to 11-17-2 over the last two seasons, and perhaps served as the final nail in somebodys Black and Gold coffin after getting swept in the home-and-home series against their Montreal rivals
Is Rask sensing some frustration among his teammates?
Maybe sometimes when the puck isnt bouncing our way or going in, said Rask. We just cant play a 60-minute game. Thats been our thing now. There were some penalties that hurt us, but we played pretty good in the third period. Thats the way we need to play for 60 minutes and that will get us going.
Every game were trying to go out there and get a win. As a team were just not playing the way we should be, and its hurting us. But were making progress.
Rask wasnt spectacular, but he was still pretty good in a 23-save effort against a Canadiens team that attacked with speed and snapped off some pretty good scoring chances from all over the offensive zone.
In some instances Rask was up to the task, like when he properly read a potential Max Pacioretty breakaway chance and traveled way out of the net to cut off the possible scoring chance. In others he was beaten by goals he couldnt really be blamed for: Brian Gionta (a tip of a long point shot through four bodies skating in front of him on the Habs power play) and David Dasharnais (a power play rebound in front of the net after a mad scramble) both scored on good hockey plays that couldnt be helped. But Lars Eller beat Rask to the far side with a glove-high sniper shot, and thats one the Bruins goaltender wanted back after the game was over.
Rask has a 2.71 goals against average and a .906 save percentage after three games this season, and he knows he can be better if his playing time comes a little more frequently.
It was a tough screen with a pretty tough shot on Giontas goal, said Rask. "The second one was probably my fault, but the first and third one I had no chance on."
But the bottom line for Rask is a Bs offense thats produced a grand total of four goals in his three starts this season, and isnt giving him the kind of goal support he needs if hes going to be successful. One silver lining: the Bruins will start a stretch where theyre playing three or four games a week and Rask is going to get many more cracks at putting some wins in his ledger.
The Bruins and Rask need as many chances as they can get, with wins hard to come by over the first month of the season.