BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask had allowed eight goals in his previous two games, and had even been asked if he was in a slump after serving as one of the most dominant goaltenders over the first three months of the NHL season.
So his answer when he got back between the pipes on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets was pretty resounding: Slump This!
Rask made 36 saves in leading the Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon, and stopped 19 pucks in the second period as Boston’s opponent starting feeling the desperation of two points slipping away. Clearly the Finnish netminder felt as good as he looked out on the ice.
“I felt sharp out there; you always try to and feel sharp and today I did,” said Rask. “It was a good game for me too, and off to the road we go.
“It’s good…it’s good for our whole team – score some goals, and then get a nice cushion there with the four-one lead, and keep it that way. Hopefully it boosts us for a good start on the road. It’s going to be a tough road trip and a really good challenge for us.”
While Rask had some five-star saves in the game, it was also a pretty good example of guys like Adam McQuaid blocking shots while the other B’s defensemen did a good job clearing pucks out in front. At a different point in that second period free-for-all Matt Bartkowski cleared away what could have been a sure goal while Devin Setoguchi missed an open net follow when he popped the puck harmlessly over the crossbar.
“[There was] a few blocks and a few clears. We take that for granted sometimes because we’re usually really good at it. But there have been some games that we get scored on, and then we’re kind of like ‘this never happens to us,” said Rask. “It’s good to see that everybody is pulling the boat and, clearing those pucks out too. It was a great effort.”
Even Rask and the steady Bruins defense can use a confidence booster every once in a while, and Boston’s netminder clearly took Saturday’s win as that kind of effort with some difficult challenges ahead of him.