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Tuukka Talks Top Spot

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

Friday, 08.3.2012 / 11:13 AM ET / 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 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
3 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
4 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
5 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
6 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
7 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
8 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 76 21 32 2 53
L. Eriksson 76 20 24 2 44
M. Lucic 76 18 26 15 44
C. Soderberg 77 12 30 11 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
B. Marchand 72 22 17 5 39
R. Smith 76 13 25 9 38
T. Krug 73 12 25 15 37
D. Krejci 42 7 21 6 28
D. Pastrnak 41 11 16 14 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 32 19 12 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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