The Boston Bruins are back. They are seventh in the eastern conference playoffs and with the way the standings look, it seems like they are a lock for the post season.
In the month of January, the Bruins have beat teams such as the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, and now the Los Angeles Kings. Their stretch of games in February is even tougher, as they will face again the Rangers and Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, and Vancouver Canucks.
Yes, David Krejci and Zdeno Chara are back in action. But that’s not why the Bruins have figured things out. Scoring hasn’t been why they have been winning games. They scored five goals against the Islanders and four against Tampa Bay, but other than that they have been winning with three or two goals per game.
It’s been Tuukka Rask who has been hot for the Bruins and why they have gotten back in the playoff race. The Vezina winner struggled to start the season but he’s been holding teams down, playing in every Bruins game since January 8th. The team sent Niklas Svedberg to Providence because they knew he wouldn’t see a start for some time in their tough February stretch.
Rask went 7-1-3 in January and giving up 1.61 goals per game to have the best average of any goaltender in the month.
“I like to play a lot,” Rask said after his game last night. “I think the schedule has been fairly good for the rest, too, and we just had the break, so I feel good.”
It looks like Rask will play upwards of 65 games this season which will be by far the most a Bruins goaltender has played this decade. The Bruins will need to ride Rask if they want to elevate even further in the playoff hunt.