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Rask Ready for season!!

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08-09-2012, 12:14 AM
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Rask Ready for season!!

BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask was caught off guard -- just a little -- when he heard fellow Bruins goalie Tim Thomas decided not to play next season.

Surprised? Yes.

Shocked? Not so much.

"I wasn't expecting him to do that, obviously," Boston's new starting goalie said Thursday at a charity event. "But I really appreciated what he's done and I appreciate his decision to want to be with the family and take some time off hockey.

"It really didn't shock me that much, but I'm more sad to see him leave because we had a really good connection and friendship going on. But I'm sure he's happy now where he is, and gets to spend time with his family."

And so the Bruins -- one year removed from winning the Stanley Cup -- journey on with Rask in net.

It's not a bad option, of course, just a different one.

Rask, after all, had a 2.05 goals-against average in 25 games last season after posting a 2.67 in 29 games in 2010-11. The previous season, he was stellar -- registering a 1.97 clip -- in 45 games, and even played more than Thomas as the pieces of what would become a championship team were still coming into place.

Still only 25, Rask will be a restricted free agent after this season, should he and the club not come to a long-term agreement. He avoided salary arbitration by signing a one-year contract worth $3.5 million, more than double the $1.5 million he made last season. Other goalies in similar situations signed longer deals, but Rask and management agreed to see how his first season as the No. 1 plays out before negotiating again.

"A lot of people were a little surprised about the contract and stuff," he said after visiting children at the Jimmy Fund Clinic of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "But I can't tell the team that I want a long contract because I am at the age where I would have gone to arbitration.

"So we just figured that it's best for both of us. And then if I have a good year, then maybe (I'll) sign up a longer deal."

Under the current collective bargaining agreement, Rask can be a restricted free agent again after next season, but that can change depending on the results of the labour situation. The current CBA expires on Sept. 15, and the season is slated to start on Oct. 11. Talks between the NHL and NHLPA will continue next week in New York.

Thomas played every minute of the Bruins' 2011 run to the Stanley Cup. Then he played all seven games of the first-round ouster last season by Washington. The latter came after the Bruins won 49 games in a grueling season that resulted in a Northeast Division crown and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. So, it's been a grind for Thomas, 38. The last three post-season series Boston has played, in fact, have gone the distance.

Thomas plans to sit out the final year of his contract, but hopes to return the following season and earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. He was on Team USA in 2010 in Vancouver.

"Everybody knew he was a little tired, because he played a lot the past two years," Rask said. "But he didn't seem like he was exhausted mentally or anything like that."

Anton Khudobin is in line to be Rask's backup if and when training camp opens.

Hell, of course he is!! Goaltending wont be a problem in my opinion!!

Coutesy of TSN!

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08-09-2012, 12:23 AM
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SC Champs 2013, why not? As good as anyone else

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08-09-2012, 12:28 AM
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Can't hate our chances. We're as good a team as most. Things can fall right for us just as easily as for anyone else.

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08-09-2012, 12:47 AM
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Agree with both of you 100%..Have faith my friends!!

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08-09-2012, 01:01 AM
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I can't wait to see what Rask can do in a full season after he's matured a bit more since 09-10. I'm really thinking he's poised for great things this year. He just seems so relaxed knowing it's his job to lose.

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08-09-2012, 03:20 AM
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I can't imagine him not being among the top netminders statistically by the end of the season, especially on a Julien coached team. It doesn't hurt to have Khudobin either, who was great for a ****** Providence team last year. Guy's played less than 10 NHL games total however, so I guess it remains to be seen whether or not he can perform as well as he has in his short time up with the Wild and the one game with us fairly consistently.

Not predicting a Vezina, but he'll be in for a hefty paycheck when all is said and done.

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08-09-2012, 08:59 AM
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Some motivation for him and the team doesn't hurt at all.

Seguin, Marchand, Rask, and Looch are young FAs next season. They're going to have to work for their money.

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08-09-2012, 09:26 AM
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Rask might be ready for the season, but it looks like the season won't start on time. It would have been nice to see what Rask can do over a full season, especially on a one year deal.

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08-09-2012, 09:35 AM
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As long as the defense plays well in front of him Tuukka should have a good year,our 1-7 on defense need to have a good year especially in they're own zone

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08-10-2012, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Boston BROin View Post
Rask might be ready for the season, but it looks like the season won't start on time. It would have been nice to see what Rask can do over a full season, especially on a one year deal.
That's what I was thinking. Poor dude's waited all this time to get a guaranteed #1 job and now that Thomas is out of the way, there might not even be a season.

I have a lot of faith in his abilities, and I think he'll do great. I do anticipate some bumps in the road however, and I'm interested to see how well he can bounce back.

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08-16-2012, 10:37 PM
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Don't understand why anyone is doubting Rask. Just because he was a backup for the past 2 years doesn't mean that he is a bad goalie. He's got potential and I have more faith in him than I do in the post-stanley cup Tim Thomas.

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