Bruins Rask To Start Game Against Oilers

( Above Photo Credit:   NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred            Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins bench boss Bruins Cassidy announced today that Tuukka Rask will return to the B’s crease for tomorrow night’s contest against the struggling Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts at 5 pm. Rask who is currently riding a three-game winless streak and worst start of his National Hockey League career will try to redeem himself with a win for his Bruins team which he hasn’t done since November 6, 2017, in a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild at the TD Garden.

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So far this season in 12 games played, the recent workhorse of the B’s organization has posted an unacceptable 3-7-2 record with a 2.89 goals-against-average, and .897 save percentage. It remains a mystery why the team’s number one netminder is going through these unfortunate times and while many fans have their own displeasure opinions, an injury factor and recent offseason surgery thoughts do come to mind as he doesn’t seem the same and not to sugar coat things but hasn’t looked great for the past few seasons. Regardless of recent struggles, the efforts recently from the backup position have been the saving grace of this franchise which at one time this season was third from last in the Eastern Conference, but fortunes have changed as the team looks to another player with something to prove.

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Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin came to the Bruins team in his second tour of duty with the organization as a July 1st free agent signing in 2016 and did not impress as he struggled in the net and did not earn the trust of the previous coaching staff once held by former coach Claude Julien. Once the head coaching job was given to Cassidy late in the 2016-17 season, Khudobin after spending a considerable amount of time with the Bruins American Hockey League affiliate the Providence Bruins, he returned a rejuvenated player and was a key member to the Bruins Stanley Cup Playoff appearance last spring.

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Khudobin finished the 2016-17 regular season after returning in mid-February to post four straight wins and finished the season with a 6-1-0 record, a 1.87 GAA and .917 Save% in his last eight games played. This season when finally given the opportunity under now Head Coach Cassidy who ended last year with an intern tag, the 31-year-old veteran goaltender has blown many away with a 7-0-2 record with a GAA of 2.22 and astonishing .932 Save% in ten games this season.

With the hopes of Rask finding his game once again and he’ll certainly get his chance tomorrow night against the 8-13-2 Oilers, the ideal situation is to have two goaltenders that are not competing against each other for crease time but two goaltenders that are here for the common goal of earning two points in a team effort. If Rask cannot change his game, the next best option is to continue to ride the hot hand with Khudobin who’s currently in his last season of a two-year deal while making a serious audition for a contract extension next year.

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About Mark Allred Jr

Long-time Boston Bruins fan and former beer league goaltender for over 30-years on the ice, Inline, and Dek-Hockey throughout New England. Retired and needed a hobby so writing about the B's talent in the lower levels of developmental hockey is my favorite topic and main focus. It's important to know about tomorrow's stars today in my opinion.
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