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Tuukka Talks Top Spot

Even as heir apparent, Rask says his mindset won't change

Friday, 08.03.2012 / 11:13 AM / Features
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Tuukka Talks Top Spot

BOSTON, MA Tim Thomas' decision to take a year off from hockey seemed to vault Tuukka Rask into the top spot on the B’s goaltending depth chart, but the Finnish netminder isn't approaching this season any differently.

As local media pressed him Thursday about his expanded role, Rask calmly assured reporters (and the Bruins faithful) that he has always been prepared to be the go-to guy in Boston. 

"I've been waiting for a few years now [so] it's gonna be interesting to see how I handle it," Rask said after visiting with children at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "It’s going to be a challenge but I’m always up for a challenge and you just got to make the most of it and have fun."

Despite the absence of the two-time Vezina Trophy winner, Rask is fully aware that the B’s brass will look elsewhere if he’s unable to provide returns on their one-year investment. 

Thomas & Rask shared the crease for several seasons.

"I'm sure I’m gonna get every chance to play possible but if I can’t get the job done, there’s gonna be more guys coming in," Rask acknowledged.

The past few years of media scrutiny of Rask versus Thomas certainly created competition for the lion’s share of the minutes between the pipes, but other goalies on the Bruins roster, including Anton Khudobin, will continue to push Rask to perform. 

"When there was two of us on the team the whole time, there was controversy going on all the time, so that’s gone now," Rask said in reference to Thomas. "But maybe it’s going to be between me and 'Dobby' next year – who knows?" 

While those outside the organization may view Rask in a new light this season, the 25-year-old goaltender said he’s going to stay focused on his own game this season – just like he has since being acquired by Boston prior to the 2006-07 season. 

"It’s the same every year, right? You don’t want to think about it too much, [whether] there’s somebody ahead of you in the rankings or not, so I’m really doing it the same way," Rask said of his approach. "I just want to improve my game every day and…show up into camp as a really good goalie and in really good shape and that’s pretty much all you can do.

"You know, I think when you do that, everything kind of takes care of itself and then you move on and hopefully have a good year." 

---Travis Basciotta

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 49 32 14 3 130 111 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
5 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
6 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
7 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
8 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 49 12 21 6 33
C. Soderberg 50 10 22 9 32
L. Eriksson 49 11 18 7 29
M. Lucic 49 10 18 10 28
B. Marchand 45 15 12 13 27
D. Hamilton 50 8 19 1 27
R. Smith 50 10 16 8 26
T. Krug 46 10 16 8 26
D. Krejci 30 6 18 9 24
C. Kelly 48 6 16 7 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 5 5 0 .922 2.22
T. Rask 22 11 7 .921 2.31
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