He’s Finnish, underaged and probably doesn’t understand the crazy caroms and funny bounces of Massachusetts politics, but Tuukka Rask would make an interesting candidate for United States senate. This in no way is meant to disrespect Ed Markey or Gabriel Gomez, but the 26-year-old Bruins goaltender has a way of cutting directly to the heart of things with good, old-fashioned Original Six candor. And by candor, I guess some people could take a goofy leap and call it “throwing his teammates under the bus.” Such as during the aftermath of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, a triple-overtime 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, when Rask said, “We had the game. We were up 3-1 in the third. A terrible turnover leads to the second goal and then a puck bounce leads to the tying goal and then we just gave it away. We’ve got to be better than that.” Or, in the aftermath of Wednesday’s Game 4 fireworks display at the Garden, in which the Blackhawks emerged with a 6-5 overtime victory, thus squaring this epic series at two wins apiece, when Rask admitted that, “You let in six goals as a goalie, you can’t be satisfied,” but then quickly added, “But as a team I thought it wasn’t our best defensive game.” But there is nothing whiny or pouty about Rask’s delivery. There are no rolls of the eyes, no fingers being pointed to this or that corner of the dressing room. And best of all, he says what he says in front of a throng of reporters, rather than pursue the tried and true course of some athletes, which means pulling a media trusty aside and whispering anonymous bombast that usually lands in the next day’s paper attributed to “said one player.” The writers who regularly cover the Bruins say Rask is more than willing to blame himself for softies, bad rebounds and other goaltending miscues. When it’s on him, he says so, and with the same matter-of-factness that has become the style of his postgame oratory. And at a time when it seems everyone wants to compare the 2013 Tuukka Rask with the 2011 Tim Thomas, there’s one big difference right there: Thomas was never much for saying, “My bad on that one.” Rask enjoys a reputation as a popular player — with teammates, media and certainly with a hugely respectful and thankful Bruins Nation. And, anyway, Rask’s words tend to look a little darker in print than when actually spoken. It also should be noted that whatever he says is usually in response to a question; he doesn’t take any puzzling detours in order to get something off his chest that has nothing to do with what’s being asked.
Tuukka Rask ultimate straight shooter
Boston Herald | Jun 22