Haters can shut up, Tuukka Rask made a desperation save for Bruins

Matt Kalman
November 21, 2019 - 11:12 pm

“Tuukka Rask never makes the desperation save.” -- blowhards who don’t watch the games and just blame the goalie for everything that goes wrong with the Bruins

Tuukka Rask is among the most positionally sound goalies of his generation, so it’s rare to find him making a scrambling or diving save the way Tim Thomas used to in Boston.

It didn’t surprise Boston forward David Pastrnak though that at 4:47 of the third period, Rask lost his stick and made a save on Evan Rodrigues with the palm of his blocker while the Bruins were protecting a 3-1 lead on their way to a 3-2 win against Buffalo on Tuesday at TD Garden.

“Obviously when you see him in the gym, how flexible he is, it doesn’t surprise me. So it was a big save and you know it’s going to be tight with Marc-Andre Fleury,” Pastrnak said.

The reference to Fleury was because people are going to be comparing Rask’s save with the one the Vegas goaltender made Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s just November and we may have already seen the best two saves of the season.

Even the normally stoic Rask allowed himself to smile and excitedly describe what happened on that save as he addressed the media in the aftermath of the victory that came despite what Bruce Cassidy called Boston’s “worst start of the year.”

“You know I don’t make highlights too often like that because you know I try to be in position to make saves,” Rask said. “So you know it’s fun to make a save like that. But yeah it’s just one those instinct saves that I can’t [explain>, you’re tracking it and then you see that you’ve got to do something and then it hits you.”

Rask expanded on the sequence later.

“It’s just one of those that you kind of … it’s a scramble and the guy gets a couple whacks in front there, and then I extended myself and I couldn’t recover any other way. … Puck finds a way to their stick and then you’re kind of forced to make a desperate save. That’s it,” he said.

Coach Bruce Cassidy described Rask’s play all night, while the Bruins were being outshot 17-4 in the first period and 38-27 for the game, as superb and compared the save on Rodrigues to the ones Dominik Hasek, ironically made for the Sabres back in the ‘90s and early 2000s.

Brad Marchand, who scored two goals in the victory, made it clear that he felt Rask saved the Bruins’ rear ends.

“Sometimes he has to do that a few times a game. You know he had to do that the whole first period and a couple times throughout the game, but again, that’s what he’s paid for so he better keep doing it,” the left wing said.

As for comparing Rask’s save to Fleury’s, unsurprisingly Marchand had his teammates’ back.

“I mean that was a backhand, and I think it was going wide,” Marchand said of Fleury’s save. “So I’ve got to give it to Tuukks. Forehand and he ripped it and he came across. And Tuuks my boy, so I gotta give it to him.”

Well now next time the blowhards come for Rask because he hasn’t made them lose their breath with a crazy save by being too proficient at positioning himself in the crease, he and his supporters can break out this save and shut them up.

That’ll keep them quiet. Sure, it will.

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