Sport: Empty the tank: Well-rested Tuukka Rask pivotal to Bruins' Stanley Cup run - PressFrom - US

SportEmpty the tank: Well-rested Tuukka Rask pivotal to Bruins' Stanley Cup run

23:55  15 may  2019
23:55  15 may  2019 Source:

Rask's roll has Bruins a win away from Stanley Cup Final

Rask's roll has Bruins a win away from Stanley Cup Final Tuukka Rask is stopping just about any puck playoff opponents can shoot his way — even the ones he doesn't see. The goaltender has been dominant in the Boston Bruins' six-game postseason winning streak that has them on the doorstep of the Stanley Cup Final. Just don't expect him to make any grand declaration of being "in the zone" as he makes stop after stop in these playoffs. He's confident and comfortable. Leave it at that. "I've felt good for many, many months," Rask said. "It's just the way when you're seeing the puck, when you feel comfortable. It's about timing and patience and all that.

Empty the tank: Well-rested Tuukka Rask pivotal to Bruins' Stanley Cup run© Boston Globe / Getty

Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask has saved his best for the playoffs, and after splitting time with Jaroslav Halak throughout the regular season, it's evident No. 40 has extra gas in the tank as Boston chases its seventh Cup in franchise history.

The 32-year-old played in 46 games this season - his lightest workload since the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign. When comparing his postseason numbers this year to the 2013 playoff run that saw the Bruins make the Stanley Cup Final, the similarities are difficult to deny.

Rask has had to prove himself in one of hockey's most passionate markets, often being targeted as the scapegoat for the Bruins' shortcomings. But the Finn has been extremely reliable since becoming the team's full-time starter in 2012, even capturing a Vezina Trophy in 2014.

Chara skates before Bruins' practice

Chara skates before Bruins' practice Three days after he had to miss Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final because of an undisclosed injury, Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated before practice. Chara skated with fellow injured defenseman Steven Kampfer and Bruins skills coach Kim Brandvold. Chara did not participate in the full practice. Center David Krejci did not practice because of a "maintenance day", but is expected to rejoin the team for their next practice. ___ More AP NHL: and https://twitter.

Perhaps the real problem is just how much the Bruins have relied on him. Between the 2013-14 and 2017-18 seasons, Rask's 311 games played and 17,980 minutes logged led all NHL goaltenders. During that span, the team found little success as the 6-foot-3 backstopper's numbers continued to decline.

This season, Rask ranked outside of the top 20 in terms of both games played and minutes logged between the pipes.

Only Rask knows for sure if fatigue has been a factor over the previous several seasons, but the numbers show that the less of a load he's had to carry during the year, the better the outcome is for the Bruins.

Perhaps the most concerning part for the teams that remain between the Bruins and the Stanley Cup this postseason is the fact Rask gets stronger as the playoffs wear on - another sign the netminder may have some energy in reserve.

Bruins beat Carolina 2-1, take 3-0 series lead

Bruins beat Carolina 2-1, take 3-0 series lead Chris Wagner and Brad Marchand scored 5:07 apart in the second period, and the Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 to take a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final. Tuukka Rask stopped 35 shots for the Bruins. They have won six straight postseason games for the first time since 1978. They are one victory away from their third Stanley Cup Final appearance in nine years. Boston will go for the sweep on Thursday night. Calvin de Haan scored and Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves for the Hurricanes while starting in place of Petr Mrazek, who allowed 10 goals in the first two games of the series.

It's not just the volume of his incredible work, either, but the timing of it that's made this run so special.

Rask made 54 saves on a combined 57 shots through two elimination games against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 1. With the Bruins down 2-1 in their second-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, he made 39 saves to steal Game 4. Since that victory, the Bruins have won five straight games and Rask has conceded just eight goals.

The veteran deserves a ton of credit for his play this season, but it would be remiss not to mention the team in front of him. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has implemented a defense-first mentality, stressing the importance of limiting high-danger scoring chances.

With the Bruins on the verge of making their third Stanley Cup Final appearance this decade, it looks as though the decision to lighten Rask's regular-season workload has unlocked Boston's full potential.

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Tuukka Rask’s spectacular postseason continues with 35-save gem.
At 13:48 of the second period in Tuesday's Game 3 of Eastern Conference finals, Tuukka Rask spilled his big secret. The Bruins goalie showed he is indeed a mere mortal made of flesh and bone when he allowed Calvin de Haan’s slapshot to squeak through his pads, a shot he usually would stop.Unfortunately for the Carolina Hurricanes, Rask was pretty darn close to a goaltending deity for the rest of the night as he led the B’s to a 2-1 victory and 3-0 series lead. In a playoff season when Rask has been in contention for the game’s No.

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