The Skate Podcast: Has Tuukka Rask continued at his 2019 playoffs level?

Matt Kalman
November 27, 2019 - 2:08 pm

Thanksgiving is a time to reconnect with friends and family, so it was obvious that The Skate Podcast co-hosts Matt Kalman and Ken Laird had to invite Dale Arnold, co-host of The Dale & Keefe Show and NESN Bruins studio host, to join the podcast that he actually started before passing it on to its current hosts.

The trio talked about which Bruins have exceeded expectations and which have underperformed.

Tuukka Rask fell into the former category.

“I don’t want to say he’s overachieved based on the way he played in the playoffs last year,” Laird said. “To me, I didn’t know what to expect following up that run. And Rask has been every bit as good as you would’ve hoped for.”

Arnold followed up: “I know what a polarizing figure he is for hockey fans in this town, and I understand that. I think he took his play to another level last spring in the playoffs. And I think he’s at least maintained that this year if not taken it one step further.”

Kalman pointed out that it’s a great sign that Rask has held up while playing two out of every three games rather than splitting the job 50-50 with Jaroslav Halak. Then Laird asked Arnold to compare Rask to Tim Thomas, the 2011 Stanley Cup-winning goaltender and Conn Smythe Trophy winner for the Bruins.

“Now don’t get me wrong, he backstopped the Bruins to a Cup. He will be a legend in this town forever because of that, if you can take away some of his political views,” Arnold said. “But given all of that, if you look at the body of work for their career, Tuukka Rask has clearly been the better goaltender.”

Arnold, Kalman and Laird also debated whether the Bruins would be wise to keep Patrice Bergeron out longer to get him healthy, the development of Charlie McAvoy and Danton Heinen, whether the Bruins can afford to keep Torey Krug without re-signing him in-season, and which Atlantic Division foe will be the Bruins’ stiffest test as the season unfolds.

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