It's Tuukka's time for Bruins

Updated: March 12, 2013, 6:07 PM ET
By Craig Custance

The shootout attempt by Ottawa's Kaspars Daugavins is going to get all the attention, and that's understandable. The NHL hasn't seen anything like his 360-degree attempt since implementing the shootout.

And while those watching might have been staring in amazement and curiosity as Daugavins pushed the puck up the ice with the toe of his blade, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask patiently waited.

Rask calmly kicked away the attempt as Daugavins made contact with him and that was that. David Krejci beat Robin Lehner and the shootout was over, another win for the Bruins and Rask.

In his first full season as the unquestioned No. 1 goalie in Boston with Tim Thomas completely gone, Rask continues to handle everything thrown at him with the same mix of confidence and composure that gave his teammates every reason to expect this is exactly how things would play out this season.

Heading into this shortened season, Rask was really the only question mark on a team that effectively rolls four lines and has one of the best defensemen in the game in Zdeno Chara. He was only a question mark to those outside the Boston dressing room. Inside, there was no doubt.

"He's a guy that I don't think I've scored on in practice the last two years," Bruins forward Gregory Campbell said. "Everybody's known he's had the ability to be the No. 1 goaltender, he's patiently waited for his opportunity and really handled this situation well. He learned the most he could from Timmy and really is a guy supportive of everybody in the room and handled the success of the team well and put the success of the team ahead of himself."

Now comes the payoff -- in terms of recognition and, eventually, money. GM Peter Chiarelli has to find a way to keep his most important expiring contract. Rask, earning $3.5 million this year, is a restricted free agent after this season and getting him signed becomes one of the most crucial jobs for Chiarelli this season.

It won't be cheap.