The Boston Bruins are holding their own in the Atlantic Division, and it’s been many thanks to the solid play of Jaroslav Halak.
Halak has gotten off to a good start and has made a nice first impression for his new team, and at the moment has been promoted from backup goaltender to starter. Tuukka Rask hasn’t necessarily been bad for the Bruins, but Halak has been the better netminder at the moment and deservedly has earned the ice time he’s gotten.
But in order for the Bruins to make a deep run this season they undoubtedly will need Rask to step up, and that was the point of emphasis in ESPN’s latest NHL power rankings. In this week’s rankings, they centered it around one player that needs to step up for their respective team. Boston fell from sixth to seventh place on the list, and Rask was named the player that needs to elevate their game.
“The seemingly annual tradition of “Rask Panic” is in full effect, as the Bruins goalie has a .902 save percentage and a 3-3-0 record (vs. 4-0-2 for backup Jaroslav Halak),” ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski wrote. “The silver lining is that he has a .917 even-strength save percentage.”
As Wyshynski hints at, it is not uncommon for Bruins fans to freak out when Rask gets off to a slow start. But every season, Boston’s top netminder comes around, much like he did last season by going on a tear after a brief benching in November.
Sure, Rask needs to carry his weight, but Halak has been tremendous and history says Rask will sort things out.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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