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Julien: ‘We all agree’ Rask’s game isn’t ‘where it should be’

Jan 15, 2014, 4:43 PM EDT


On Wednesday, Claude Julien acknowledged the struggles affecting netminder Tuukka Rask.

“Right now [Rask] feels great. He doesn’t feel tired,” Julien said, per the Boston Herald. “He just doesn’t feel his game is where it should be. We all agree on that.”

Rask, in the first of an eight-year, $56 million deal, has fallen on hard times lately. He’s gone 2-7-0 since shutting out Ottawa on Dec. 27, getting hooked twice — once in a 4-3 loss to the Sens, and again in a 4-2 loss to L.A.

While he has posted some good efforts over this stretch — including a 36-save win over Winnipeg and a 26-save shutout over San Jose — Rask has been inconsistent. He’s struggled to follow up one good performance with a second solid outing, and has a .898 save percentage in January.

That said, Julien wasn’t prepared to pin all of Boston’s latest issues on Rask.

“You’ve seen a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes from our end — mismanaging the puck and turnovers and our penalty kill running around and giving guys good opportunities,” he explained. “There’s lot of blame to go around.”


  1. jpelle82 - Jan 15, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    im sure his game will be just fine come april…chalk it up to the mid season doldrums and the looming tournament coming up in russia.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 15, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      He’s one of the least clutch goalies in the league. I hope he’s traded because he does not have the ability to win this team a Cup.

      • penguins87and71 - Jan 15, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Wait what? I’m a Pittsburgh Penguins fan and I would rather have Rask over Fleury. I’m sorry but your completely off base. Rask shut down the Penguins last year in the playoffs the highest scoring team in the league last year. He took the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals last year what more do you want.

      • flyerspsu - Jan 15, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        Rask had a .940 sv %, 1.88 GAA and 3 shutouts in the playoffs last year en route to taking them to game 6 of the finals …

        as a Flyers fan who has seen his team swing and miss with goaltenders ever since Hextall it pisses me off that a Bruins fan can be so dumb to claim Rask isnt good enough and want him to be traded

        Rask is top 3 goaltenders in the league and possibly the best

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:31 PM

        He backstopped the epic 2010 collapse, lost the starting job to Thomas the next year, was in net for last year’s Game 6 collapse. He can’t hold onto momentum at all. He gives up way too many goals immediately after a Bruin’s goal or in the closing minute of a period.

        He’s a very good goal but he is not elite, that is reserved for goalies who can come through in the clutch.

      • bildomatic - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        As a Bruins fan who appreciates Rask it drives me nuts when mindless Bruins fans who probably never played the game make comments like this…

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 16, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Wrong chief, I’ve played, officiated and coached at high levels of hockey. You’re dealing with someone who understands the game, and goaltending position, better than most.
        Don’t take this as Rask is horrible because he isn’t. He isn’t a goalie who can carry you on his back. I’m not sure why that’s such an insult when very few can.

      • bildomatic - Jan 17, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        So what was Rask in the Pittsburgh series when he AND the defense limited them to two goals over four games? Or in the playoffs overall last season? I’ll take his 22gp 1.88gaa and .940 sv % all day long. A lot of teams in this league scramble for good goaltending and I’m not naive enough to think there are better options readily available. Rask is a top 5 goalie in this league like it or not.

      • stickbewooden - Jan 17, 2014 at 3:31 PM


        I totally agree with you. I’ve played and watched hockey since ’72-73 NHL season. Tuukka is a very very good goalie, probably top 5…BUT his Flyer meltdown in ’10 and two goals in 17 seconds last year shows that he is definitely not elite… and I’m a die hard Bruins fan. Goalies not only steal games but must also seal them, especially when the stakes get higher. Tuukka hasn’t achieved that status quite yet.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        I was at Game 7 in 2010 and Game 6 last year so I may be part of the problem haha.

        Honestly I hope I’m wrong but I just don’t see him being the solution, especially with all the young, offensively gifted forwards we have.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        @ bildomatic

        I’m clearly not saying he’s terrible, or anywhere near that; he’s a very good goalie. I can’t remember him stealing any playoff games.

  2. villi5ed - Jan 15, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Rask will be fine. He is a world-class goaltender. Just like Lundqvist during the first half here in NY, he has had a marked dip in his recent play. But the chances that proven guys like these will rebound fully are extremely good. Safe to say that Rask in the end will not be close to the main problem should Boston fall short in the playoffs.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 15, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      Ummm really? His last two playoff collapses are pretty indicative.

      • flyerspsu - Jan 15, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        how was last year a collapse? he was unbelievable all playoffs long and just happened to give up 2 late goals in game 6 that werent even his fault …

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        I wouldn’t expect a Flyers fan to understand goaltending but yes, when you give up two goals a minute apart in the closing minutes of Game 6 that is a very big deal, especially when you lost a series that you were up 3-0 a few years earlier.

  3. sabatimus - Jan 15, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    I blame last night’s loss on the guys trying to play defense in front of Rask.

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