Tuukka Rask Having Vezina-Caliber Season

With the regular season more than halfway over, the Boston Bruins have again been one of the league’s best teams. Through 59 games, they have gone 36-11-12 and currently own the top spot in the Eastern Conference. While their impressive start has been a team effort, Tuukka Rask is having one of the best seasons of his career. As the Bruins look to make a deep playoff run, they will need Rask to continue his superb play.

In 34 games this season, Rask has a record of 22-5-6. He has saved 903 of the 971 shots he has faced and recorded three shutouts. He also already has 23 quality starts, which is only one less than he had last season. While those stats are impressive alone, Rask’s recent run has placed him among the leagues best.

So far this season, Rask leads the league with goals against average of 2.08 and is tied for third in the league in shutouts. The former first-round pick also leads the league in save percentage with a .931 mark. Rask has been particularly dominant of late as he has not allowed more than two goals in a start since Dec. 23.

Additionally, the Finnish native has been nearly unbeatable at TD Garden. In 20 starts, Rask has gone 14-0-6 and posted three shutouts. He has an impressive save percentage of .933 and is only allowing 1.97 goals a game. With a victory last Saturday against Detroit, Rask was able to extend his point streak to 20 games, which tied Tiny Thompson for the longest streak by a goalie in franchise history.

While Rask’s season has placed him in elite company, he is in the midst of his best stretch this season at the perfect time. Although Jaroslav Halak has proved to be the perfect backup, he did struggle for a brief stretch in late December into early January. Rask’s play has allowed Halak to work through his struggles as the Bruins enter the most crucial part of the regular season.

With only two months left in the regular season, the Bruins need Rask to be at his best. He is only one shutout short of tying his mark from last season, and his save percentage is 19 points higher. If Halak can continue to his recent play, then the Bruins should be able to keep Rask fresh down the stretch.

If the Bruins can do that, then another Vezina trophy could be in the future for the Bruins goaltender.

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