Tuukka Rask had one of his best seasons with the Boston Bruins in 2018-19, earning a 27-13-5 record with a .912 save percentage and 2.48 goals-against average.
The goalie had a tremendous postseason and helped the Black and Gold to its first Stanley Cup Final since 2011. Boston ultimately fell in seven games to the St. Louis Blues, but it certainly wasn’t due to lack of effort on Rask’s part.
In years prior, Rask played in a high number of games, leading to being fatigued throughout the Bruins’ previous Stanley Cup runs. But the 32-year-old played in just 46 games this season — the lowest since he played 36 in the 2012-13 season. A big part of his success could be attributed to backup netminder Jaroslav Halak, who also impressed in net for the B’s.
Halak posted a 22-11-4 record in 40 games while amassing a .922 save percentage and 2.34 GAA. Boston had quite the tandem with the duo, and Cam Neely made sure to give Halak the proper credit he deserved during an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Boston.
“The way that Jaro played for us this year really helped Tuukka get some rest,” the Bruins president said. “We’ve seen when Tuukka’s workload gets too high he really starts to break down. I think the fact Jaro had such a great year and we were able to rely on him, and even (Anton Khudobin) had a great year the year before, that really allows us to maybe reduce Tuukka’s starts a little bit. We could keep him a little fresher this year and I think it made a really big difference in the playoffs.”
Rask started all of Boston’s 24 games throughout the postseason and went 15-9-0 with a .934 save percentage and is signed for two more years with Boston. Halak also will be part of the Bruins squad once the puck drops to begin the 2019-20 season, likely meaning Rask again will get some much-needed rest as he and the rest of the Bruins look to head back to the Stanley Cup Final next June.