Despite the trade talks that have been surrounding Thomas since Tuukka showed that he could compete at the NHL level, the Bruins are fortunate to be in the goalie situation they’re in. While admittedly Thomas’s cap hit is higher than we’d like, few teams have two goaltenders that have the ability to perform on the same level as these two.
Last Year: Expectations were high for poor Timmy, after an outstanding 08-09 season and winning the Vezina Trophy, he was one of the most well liked players on the Bruins going into the 09-10 season.
Boy that didn’t last long.
Looking back on last season with an open mind, his stats weren’t awful by any means. He held a Goals Against Average of 2.56 and a Save Percentage of .915. Respectable stats, but not what the Bruins were looking for, and ultimately Rask took over as the go-to goalie. You got to credit Thomas on his demeanor throughout last season though. After “Tuukka Time” took a hold of Boston, Thomas accepted his role as more of a back up and mentor than the star he was the year before.
Role: From all accounts we’ve heard, Thomas is hungry this year, and not just for cheeseburgers. He’s determined to fight for his starting position, and it seems like the Bruins haven’t made a decision either way yet on who will be the starter. It’ll be interesting to see how Thomas bounces back after his off season hip surgery. Expect to see Rask and Thomas splitting duties, at least for the start of the season
Patrice Purrgeron Says: He flops around like a fish! Mmm…fish <meow>.
These saves don’t get old…
After the jump we take a look at Rask…
Last Year: Not much to be said about Tuukka that hasn’t been regurgitated 5,000 times by everyone else. After Playing just one NHL game in the 08-09 season, he was called upon to step in for Thomas and performed exceptionally.
During the 45 games he played (with 39 starts) during the regular season, he went 22-12-5 with a 1.97 GAA and .931 Save Percentage. He also managed to record 5 shutouts. Unfortunately, the playoffs began to take their toll on the young goalie and even he admits that fatigue played a huge part in his declining play during the Flyers series. Rask’s GAA went up to 2.61 during the playoffs, and he recorded a Save Percentage of .913.
Role: Rask is entering into this season with a lot on his shoulders. Boston fans seem to think of Rask (along with Seguin) as a messiah that will help lead the Bruins to the Cup. Seeing as how he only started 52 games (including playoffs) and suffered from fatigue, we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high. Not that we think he’ll pull a Raycroft, just trying to keep a realistic outlook. Although, he did say that endurance has been a focus of his in the off-season, so we’ll see.
With Thomas at his back, we could very well see an impressive goal-tending combo. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Rask eventually overtake Thomas and begin starting the majority of the games.
Patrice Purrgeron Says: This season we’ll see if he can finnish what he started!
An oldie but goodie