They say perfection is impossible. Somewhere along the line, all humans slip up at some point. That is unless your name is Tuukka Rask, and your job is to win games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bruins' goaltender has a 7-0 career record in conference finals matches, allowing an average of just one goal per game with a save percentage of .969.
Tuukka Rask is the first @NHLBruins goaltender to make 20+ saves in a postseason period since Tim Thomas during the final frame in Game 2 of the 2011 Conference Semifinals (22). #NHLStats #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/bwYtS3MQpf— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 15, 2019
Rask passed one of his most demanding tests on Tuesday, stopping 35 Carolina shots--including more than 20 in the second period--as the Bruins strode to a 2-1 win and 3-0 series lead behind Rask's .972 SV%.
His play seems to have improved just at the right time for Boston. Rask surrendered 2.48 goals per game and had a save percentage of .912 during the regular season, improving in the postseason to 1.93 goals allowed and .939 save percentage.
To Bruins fans, Rask's play is likely reminiscent to former goaltender Tim Thomas, who led Boston to the Stanley Cup Title in 2011, beating Vancouver in the finals in seven games. The New England fanbase probably had no idea that Thomas' successor would put up similar numbers to what Thomas produced, but Boston has been blessed with excellent goaltending over the past decade.
The Bruins will try and close out the 'Canes on Thursday, and clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2013, where they would meet the winner of the Western Conference Finals between St. Louis and San Jose.