The Boston Bruins will have a very similar look this season as they have in the past two, and that’s a good thing. There’s a lot more in common when you look at the last two Bruins seasons. In the Cup winning season of 2010-11, the B’s finished with 103 points. Last season they finished with 102 points. In each of those season they faced a Game 7 at home in the opening round of the play-offs and found themselves in OT. Of course the results of those games were very different. The one big difference between the past two seasons and 2013 will be in net where Tuukka Rask takes over as the team’s primary goaltender. Rask if you recall was the B’s goalie during the 2010 playoffs and lost four straight games in that fateful Flyers series. But to pin the blame on Rask for the series meltdown is not fair, bear in mind that David Krejci was injured in the Game 3 victory, the Flyers stole some momentum with a Game 4 OT win, and the Bruins never won another game that series.
Rask is “technically” a better goalie than the “vacationing” Tim Thomas, meaning that Rask is more of a traditional goaltender than the wandering, sometimes flopping, but very effective Thomas. In fact before the Cup run of the Spring of 2011, there was some doubt was to whether or not Thomas’s style was the best approach to the position. As it turns out Thomas had one of the best post-seasons in league history and took his place in Bruins lore. But now its Rask’s turn, and while we know he should be able to handle the workload of a starting goaltender, it remains to see whether a long post-season run is in him. It will be interesting to see how coach Claude Julien manages Rask’s games while mixing in unproven rookie Anton Khudobin, who is actually one year older than Rask. Considering the condensed schedule, Khudobin will likely see considerable time in net during the regular season. In the playoffs however it will be Rask’s show. The Bruins, barring any unforeseen injuries know what they have both up front and on the blue line. It will be Rask’s play in the Spring which may well determine whether or not the Bruins play in early Summer.
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