Tuukka Rask: 'When we play Bruins hockey, we can beat anybody'

Mike Petraglia
November 18, 2014 - 8:38 pm
For one of the few times this season, Tuukka Rask felt like the Bruins showed their true potential. Maybe it was his 33 saves in a 2-0 shutout over the Blues. Maybe it was the better play he saw in front of him in the defensive zone. Or maybe it was just beating a team that could wind up in the Stanley Cup finals. Whatever it was, Rask had a lot to like about the way he and his teammates played Tuesday night at TD Garden. "Well, it'€™s always a good team we beat, but then again we know when we play the Bruins hockey, we can beat anybody and we'€™re a tough team to beat ourselves," Rask said. "It just goes to show again, when we play that style of hockey it works. Hopefully we realize it one of these days and keep it consistent too." The Bruins were consistent for 60 minutes Tuesday in an effort that handed the Blues just their second loss in 12 games. Rask was asked if it were the best 60-minute effort of the year. "It was, yeah absolutely," Rask said. "We started off really hard. Right off the bat we took the puck in their end and played there. The first period was probably the best one, you know, twenty minutes'€”you'€™re always going to get a little ups and downs through the games but for the most part we kept things tight and played a good game. "I think pretty much everybody was going today, you know, full 60. We'€™re a good team when we have everybody going. As far as the team effort goes, in a 60 minute effort, that was our best game I think." Rask could see his forwards joining his defensemen in keeping the puck to the perimeter all night, not letting the Blues get the puck to danger areas. "It'€™s the same as every game. I just try to give us a chance to win," Rask said. "As far as the team goes, whenever we play a defense like that and keep them on the outside, for the most part, it makes my job easier and I expect to make those saves. Today that was the case for the most part and helps my job, as I said. It doesn'€™t matter if you play against the best team in the league or the worst team in the league, if you give them chances in the slot, chances are they'€™re gonna score, so today we pretty well eliminated that. Whenever we didn'€™t turn the puck over in the neutral zone we didn'€™t really give them anything. I think in the third period we kind of got away from our forecheck a little bit and gave them some space there to come up in the rush and stuff and find that late guy, but as far as the net front goes we were really good." The judge of a truly great goalie is stopping shots when the pressure is dialed up, as it was in the third period when the Blues outshot the Bruins 15-3. But Rask was more than up to the challenge. "Third period probably wasn'€™t our best period today," Rask said. "We started off good but then obviously their D'€™s are gonna join the rush and they'€™re gonna have four or five guys jumping. We gave them too much room in the middle of the ice to make those cross-ice passes and they came in and found the late guy too many times. Something we have to fix I think, but two goal games, or two goal leads are the worst ones in hockey and I feel like I have to stand up and today. Myself and the defense did a good job in front of the net." Added Claude Julien, "I think he deserves a lot of credit because he was outstanding for us tonight. But I certainly don'€™t want to diminish the fact that I thought our guys played well tonight against a team that'€™s been extremely hot, extremely good as you can see. No matter how well you play defensively they'€™re still going to get their chances and when they did, Tuukka [Rask] made the big saves. But I liked their effort overall tonight.