Wednesday’s Win Vs. Tampa Bay
Tuukka Rask – Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask skated across the ice, last Wednesday with a weight on his shoulders. This was his second game starting after a two-week hiatus, the first being a 4-2 loss to Edmonton. Rask answered head coach Bruce Cassidy’s requests, by playing a solid, 19-save game.
“He’s a good goalie – we’ve said that all along. And tonight we got three for him, he made the big save – everything we talked about.” Cassidy told NHL.com
Teammate and Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy attributes the win to Rask’s focus in net.
“We believe in him so much. You ask any guy on this team, we believe in Tuukka. And it’s a little bit of us not playing as good as we should in front of him, allowing him to not get as many wins as he deserves.” McAvoy told NHL.com
Charlie McAvoy – McAvoy is redefining the standards for young NHL players, with his gritty and effective style of play, as seen last Wednesday against Tampa. He played a whopping 28 minutes, providing a goal and an assist. Captain Zdeno Chara came closest to matching the defensemen’s amount of playing time, trailing McAvoy by over four minutes.
McAvoy and Chara were faced with much more than expected, against Tampa. The Bolts divided star center Steven Stamkos and winger Nikita Kucherov amongst separate lines.
“Playing against Stamkos and Kucherov in that line was something that I and Zee were matched up against, and they ended up splitting those guys up a bit in the third” McAvoy explained to NHL.com. ”
Boston’s level of play has improved from the work that important players such as McAvoy, put in. Cassidy’s plan to keep Rask in net during games and getting him reps is proving to be a solid and useful plan
“We’re a resilient group and we like the feeling of winning. I think that’s the feeling in the locker room. Once we get ahead, you hear a lot of that chatter on the bench, positive talk, talk about what you need to do.” Cassidy told NHL.com
David Krejci and Anders Bjork both joined the team, last Friday for reps at practice. Krejci is still sporting the burgundy, non-contact jersey, and Jake DeBrusk and Adam McQuaid skated with the team, prior to practice.
Nearing a playoff spot, Bruce Cassidy has noted the progress the team has made, despite the unforgiving injuries amongst the roster, the last two months.
“This is probably the closest in a long time. Until we get through the games, we’re not there yet. But it’s a good problem to have.” Cassidy told NHL.com when asked about having the full team reunited.
Rask and McAvoy performed to the maximum of their abilities, pulling the team forward 3-2, Wednesday. Boston sent the Flyers one more game deeper into their 10-game losing streak Saturday, with Rask adding another 3-0 shutout to the books. Boston fell to the Predators in a 3-5 loss, Monday at home.
Next 7 Days at a Glance
Thursday, Dec 7 vs. Arizona at 7pm
Saturday, Dec 9 vs. Islanders at 7pm
Wednesday, Dec 13 vs. Detroit at 8pm