Long summers are not what a hockey player wants. It means that he fell far short of every player’s goal of winning the Stanley Cup. But goalie Tuukka Rask, speaking at Shawn Thornton’s charity golf tournament on Monday, is taking the long sabbatical for what it’s worth. “It’s been a little different,” Rask said of the extended vacation, “but every once in a while I guess it’s good to refocus and reload the batteries. We’re still over a month away (training camp starts Sept. 18) and it feels like we’re ready to go already.” If Rask looked in the rearview mirror to last season, and the goalie gives the distinct impression that he doesn’t do that too intensely, he’d see a year of tremendous highs and one very low low. On the one hand, his 36-15-6 record, .930 save percentage and 2.04 goals-against average were good enough to win him the first Vezina Trophy of his still young career. On the other, his Eastern Conference favorite Bruins were bounced in the second round by the hated Montreal Canadiens. And while the B’s lack of scoring was arguably the bigger culprit in the series loss, Rask wasn’t his usual terrific self. He allowed 19 goals in seven games and, in five of those games, he had a save percentage of .893 or lower. But if Rask is stewing over the loss to Montreal, he hides it well. “You can’t just sit around and think about the past,” Rask said. “You have to focus on what’s ahead of you. But things happen quick and it’s just hockey. I don’t like to think about it too much. You’ve seen so many times that everything just needs to click in order to reach that ultimate goal and last year, it just wasn’t our year. You look at the Kings, who won it, and I think every series went seven games (three out of four series, actually). And you need some luck, too. So many things need to happen right and last year wasn’t our year.” Rask is also aware that his play is usually indicative of how the men in front are performing. And looking ahead, Rask hopes that the young defensemen who struggled at times in the series — Matt Bartkowski had some rough moments and Kevan Miller had a key giveaway in Game 6 — will be better off after gaining hard-earned stripes.
Tuukka Rask tucks past away
Boston Herald | Aug 13