Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Cassidy keeping Bruins' goalie rotation going

Matt Kalman
October 16, 2018 - 4:38 pm

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Tuesday he expects to split the first two games of the upcoming four-game road trip between his two goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak.

Rask will start Wednesday night in Calgary before Halak gets the start in Edmonton on Thursday.

The goaltenders have alternated starts since the beginning of the season, and with the exception of the Bruins’ opening-night debacle in Washington, the distribution of playing time has worked well. The Bruins currently rank ninth in the NHL in goals-against average at 2.60.

Halak, who signed with Boston as an unrestricted free agent July 1, has especially thrived in his current situation, posting a .961 save percentage and 1.18 GAA in 152:32 of ice time this season. In his two starts (he relieved Rask in the 7-0 loss to the Capitals), Halak has a .983 save percentage, which has impressed Cassidy.

“I’d say even better, to be honest with you,” Cassidy said of Halak’s play. “We figured he’d be a good, solid goaltender, but every time he’s been in there he’s been rock solid. I don’t think there’s been any cheap goals on him, basically exhibition games on out. So as advertised and more.”

Rask’s numbers for the season are difficult to look at – .881 save percentage, 4.07 GAA. But if you throw out that Capitals game, he has a .923 save percentage and 2.50 GAA.

Rask, 31, thus far has enjoyed teaming up with the 33-year-old Halak.

“I think you can see ... his mindset, he’s been a No. 1 goalie, so it’s not like he’s stressing out too much,” Rask said. “He knows what to do and how to stay mentally stable out there, and during practices too. So that’s probably the biggest difference from a veteran goalie and a young goalie. He’s even-keel and just ‘do your job’ out there. So that’s good for our team. We’re trying to be those calming influences back there that nothing rattles us, and he’s a great example of that.”

Cassidy didn’t want to commit to the goaltender rotation continuing during the second half of the road trip, which concludes with games in Vancouver on Saturday and Ottawa next Tuesday.