Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tuukka: Wasn't rusty vs. Rangers
By James Murphy
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Heading into last weekend, the plan was for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask to get the nod between the pipes against the Lightning on Saturday and then for Anton Khudobin to start at Buffalo on Sunday. But when the blizzard shut down the city of Boston and forced the Bruins to postpone Saturday's game, it was thought by many that Rask would be in net at Buffalo on Sunday since he would have had four days rest after making 20 saves in a 2-1 win at Montreal on Feb. 6. But head coach Claude Julien stuck with his plan, and Khudobin started at Buffalo on Sunday, making 25 saves in a 3-1 win.
Rask would get the nod the following game and looked a bit rusty, letting in some questionable goals in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Rangers on Tuesday.
Tuukka Rask refused to make excuses for his subpar performance against the Rangers.
On Thursday, before he and his team departed for Buffalo for their game against the Sabres on Friday, Rask brushed off any ideas that having six days between starts was the reason for his performance on Tuesday.
“I don’t think that at all and I don’t think I’d say rusty at all but I felt uncomfortable at times,” said Rask, who is now 6-1-2 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. “You don’t get the start you want and those shots you want to make you feel good. Then the puck’s all over the place and a few knuckleballs and stuff like that so you don’t feel like you’re in it. I feel like it was just one of those games I didn’t feel comfortable. It was a battle and at times you just need to battle through it, and I’m glad we got a point out of it.”
Rask has already put Tuesday behind him and is focused on Friday’s game, which he is expected to start.
“I think every game you gotta shake off somehow,” Rask said. “I don’t think I was brutal. I let in one bad goal and that happens. We got a point though and you have to be happy with that.”
While Rask wasn’t blaming the schedule, he did say the layoff has taken the Bruins by surprise a bit. The Bruins ended up having almost a week between games in what is a condensed 48-game schedule, and have been lucky thus far with a few three- or even four-day gaps between games. But as Rask pointed out, the schedule will get really busy in March. They need to take advantage of the rest they’re getting now.
“I feel good but I think the schedule has felt a little weird for us because we almost feel like it’s been a regular 82-game schedule with a lot of days off thus far,” Rask said. “Obviously that canceled game last week was an exception and we got seven days off almost, but still it’s been weird in that regard. We’ve got a lot of rest and that’s good, but I don’t think it’s something anybody expected to happen. But on the other hand, we know it will catch up with us and it’s going to get busy in March. So right now we need to get every point we can because in March it’s going to be crazy.”