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Rask is Up to the Task

B's rookie relishes the opportunity to make the jump to the NHL

Thursday, 09.3.2009 / 9:31 AM ET / Features
By Dyan LeBourdais  - Intern | BostonBruins.com
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Rask is Up to the Task
BOSTON, MA -- Goaltender Tuukka Rask has spent the last two seasons down in at the AHL with the Providence Bruins and this season he has the chance to play his way into a NHL goaltending tandem with Tim Thomas in Boston.

Rask was an AHL All-Star. (JustSports Photography/AHL)
“The goal is to make the team first and we’ll go from there, but I spent two years [in the AHL] and now I’m ready to make the jump and do my best,” said Rask.

In those last two years, he has learned a lot.

“I’ve learned the style of play here now. I’ve played a couple games up here now, last year and 2 years ago, so I feel good about myself,” Rask told Boston Bruins TV, “but it doesn’t matter what everybody says because you’ve got to earn your spot.”

In 57 regular season games with the Providence Bruins, Rask had a 33-20-4 record highlighted by a .915 save percentage and 2.50 goals against average. In 16 Calder Cup Playoff games he earned a 9-7-0 record highlighted by a .930 save percentage and 2.21 goals against average.

Last season in the Bruins organization, Jennings trophy winners Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas were a nearly unstoppable NHL team, but Rask had the opportunity to play in one NHL game, where he shutout the New York Rangers 1-0. In the 2007-08 season Rask played in four NHL games earning a 2-1-1 record, 3.26 goals against average and .886 save percentage.

Over the last few years, Rask has learned a little about the NHL.

“Well the players are smarter,” he said. “They make smarter decisions and less mistakes than in the AHL.

“When you watch the NHL from TV you think the speed is much faster, but actually it’s not, it’s just a smarter game that’s all.”

This season Rask has a chance to be Thomas’ partner, but first he needs to get his game back into shape.

“[This week] is just about getting back in shape,” explained Rask. “Camp starts in a week and a half and then it’s all about who wants a spot and who takes it, but this is just about getting your game back in shape.”

Once training camp starts the goaltenders will be competing for a position in the NHL, but Rask says they will still discuss their games.

“When the camp starts and you play games, obviously if you’re not playing you watch the other guy and after the game you maybe discuss about the game, what happened, about the goals and about saves you made,” Rask explained.

Rask has also tweaked his level of performance at practice.

“If you don’t want to let up a goal in a practice, you definitely don’t want to let up a goal in a game,” Rask told Boston Bruins TV earlier this week. “That’s something that’s changed; I’ve tried way harder in practices. It shows in the games too.”

So there is something Rask wants to do, it’s “Stop the puck.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
4 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
5 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
6 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
7 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
8 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 52 19 26 8 45
L. Eriksson 52 16 24 11 40
D. Krejci 42 12 27 2 39
R. Spooner 52 11 27 -5 38
B. Marchand 47 24 12 12 36
Z. Chara 50 7 20 8 27
M. Beleskey 50 8 17 10 25
T. Krug 51 3 21 6 24
J. Hayes 50 11 12 -5 23
B. Connolly 49 7 9 -5 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 19 15 5 .918 2.47
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .915 2.38
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