Somehow over the course of the summer I have managed to forget about the impending doom that is Jaroslav Halak to Tuukka Rask. I guess I just plumb forgot that the Bruins backup net minder was the former starter for the Isles.
Oh, I remember what I thought: Halak will fill the exact same role as Dobby did last year. He’ll be expected to be a competent and good backup to Boston’s starting goalie, Tuukka Rask. Yes, Tuukka struggled early in the season (really, the whole team was pieced together with AHLers and duct tape). He straightened himself the fuck out and came back on fire with a streak without a regulation loss between November 26, 2017 to February 7, 2018, going 19-0-2 during that time. In that streak, Rask almost met Halak’s win count last season.
Nevertheless, Tuukka is ready for the articles calling for his being traded. He’s counting on it:
“There’s always a competitive situation,” Rask, participating in Shawn Thornton’s annual Putts and Punches golf tournament, told the Boston Herald on Monday. “And I’m sure you guys will try to create something out of it, too, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Rask goes on to say something that is probably obvious in hindsight and highlights the difference between the coaching styles of Bruce Cassidy and his predecessor, Claude Julien.
No matter Halak’s stauts in 2018, it’s something that essentially has to happen for the Bruins, though, if they’re going to seriously and successfully manage Rask’s workload the way they were able to last year. (Rask finished the year with a solid 53 starts, which was right in the sweet spot of the Bruins’ early-season projections for Rask’s regular-season workload limit.)
“Last year was the first year where we set up a plan and stuck with it, so I think that benefited everybody,” Rask told the Herald. “We finished the year disappointing, but having the meetings and talking to the coaches and managers, I felt fresh and I had a lot of energy left in me, and I think that’s a great sign. It’s what we want to have and this year is not going to be any different.”
“Last year was the first year where we set up a plan and stuck with it…” That line kind of broke my heart. It makes me believe that everyone knows the amount of games that Tuukka can start and perform well through the year but out of desperation or sheer mismanagement, no one kept that arrangement.
Anyway, Tuukka Rask is your starter. If something bad should happen to Tuukka, Halak will be able to handle the job. I doubt that he will wrest the job away from fiery Finn.
Indeed, when you write your articles calling for Tuukka to be traded just because (*cough cough*Haggs*cough cough*) or you tweet at your local NHL correspondent, spell it right, bitch.