After beating Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the 2010 playoffs, the Boston Bruins would win three games in a row to give themselves a 3-0 series lead over the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round. One win away from the Eastern Conference Finals, Tuukka Rask seemed to solidify his spot as the Bruins goalie of the future. Not the case.
Rask and the Bruins would get Yankee’d (see: 2004 ALCS) and lose the next four games to the Flyers, ousting them from the playoffs. To make matters worse for Rask, only a few games into the next season he found himself as Tim Thomas’ back up.
The 2011 Bruins won the Stanley Cup behind the spectacular goaltending from Thomas while Rask’s role in the playoff run was merely to open the door for guys coming on and off the ice.
Thomas would be cut after the 2012 season because he essentially hated Barack Obama and the rest of the United States government and there’s was now a void in net for the Bruins. With Timmy building bomb shelters and collecting cans in Michigan, Tuukka would get a second chance and he sure has been making the most of it. After his 53 saves on 54 shots in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins it is officially Tuukka Time in Boston. The best part? He throws on a Massachusetts State Police hat after the game when he talks to the media. Tuukka Rask: As classy as they come. Now, let’s see how far this Finland native can take us.
One last thing: When I had my addiction to the Providence Bruins (circa 2009), Rask, with McQuaid and Boychuck in front of him, was absolutely lighting up the AHL. The guy did not belong in the minor leagues at that point. I’m still kind of pissed I saw them get bounced from the playoffs that year.