Tuukka Rask

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Tuukka Rask
Tuukka Rask - Boston Bruins 2016.jpg
Rask in January 2016
Born (1987-03-10) 10 March 1987 (age 30)
Savonlinna, Finland
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Goalie
Catches Left
NHL team
Former teams
Boston Bruins
Ilves
HC Plzeň
National team  Finland
NHL Draft 21st overall, 2005
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 2004–present
Rask is congratulated by Tomáš Vokoun following the Bruins sweep over the Penguins in the 2013 playoffs.
Rask in 2013

Tuukka Mikael Rask (born 10 March 1987) is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL). Rask was drafted 21st overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. On 24 June 2006, his rights were traded to the Bruins in exchange for goaltender Andrew Raycroft, since deemed one of the most one-sided trades in NHL history. He is the older brother of Joonas Rask, who plays professionally as a forward with HIFK in the Finnish Liiga.

Playing career[edit]

Finland[edit]

Rask started his career in the youth teams of his hometown club SaPKo in Savonlinna, Finland.

He then played in 28 games for the Tampere-based Ilves Jr. in the Finnish Junior League. His goals against average (GAA) was 1.86 with two shutouts and a .935 save percentage. He was the top ranked European goaltender in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Rask played his last European ice hockey season as the number one goaltender for the Ilves senior team in the Finnish top-flight SM-liiga.

Toronto Maple Leafs[edit]

The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Rask in the first round, 21st overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Before playing a single regular season game for Toronto, however, he was traded to the Boston Bruins for former Calder Memorial Trophy-winning goaltender Andrew Raycroft. Toronto management had deemed Justin Pogge their potential goaltender of the future, thereby rendering Rask expendable. It was later revealed that the Bruins intended to release Raycroft, which would have made him available to Toronto without having to give up Rask.[1]

The trade has since been examined as one of the worst trades in Maple Leafs franchise history; Rask would experience many seasons of success with the Bruins, eventually winning the Stanley Cup and Vezina trophy while Raycroft would only play two seasons for Toronto, recording disappointing statistics in the process.[2]

Boston Bruins[edit]

Rask as a member of the Boston Bruins.

On 5 May 2007, Rask signed a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins, and was in attendance to observe the Providence Bruins' 2006–07 playoff run for the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Calder Cup championship.[3][4] The Providence team did not make it past the second round of the Calder Cup against the Manchester Monarchs, but nonetheless Rask practiced with the Providence team.

On 5 November 2007, Rask was called up from Providence to the Boston Bruins for the first time. Just two weeks later, on 20 November, he recorded his first NHL win, a 4–2 victory on the road against his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On 3 October 2008, the Bruins reassigned Rask to Providence. Rask had the best save percentage (.952) among the goalies in pre-season play, followed by teammates Manny Fernandez (.875), Tim Thomas (.869) and Kevin Regan (.857). Despite this, the team opted to go with the two veteran goaltenders, Thomas and Fernandez, for the 2008–09 season.

With nagging back spasms keeping Fernandez from play shortly after the All-Star Game break, Rask was once again called up to serve as a second goaltender, and on 31 January 2009, he played his first (and only) game with the Bruins in the 2008–09 season, and earned his first ever NHL shutout, a 1–0 home effort against the New York Rangers, with Marc Savard scoring the only Bruins goal.[5]

Not long after the beginning of the 2009–10 season, Rask, who had been named the backup goaltender to Thomas, signed a two-year extension to his contract with the Bruins on 5 November that kept him under contract through to the 2011–12 season.[6]

In the 2009–10 regular season, Rask was the only goalie with a GAA of less than 2.00 and the only goalie with a save percentage over .930.[7][8] Despite having been the only qualifying rookie in NHL history to lead the league with a sub-2.00 GAA, as well as lead the league in save percentage,[9] and having supplanted the Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas as the starter, Rask was not named as a finalist for the rookie of the year award. In the 2010–11 season, Thomas returned to form, however, effectively relegating Rask once again to the backup role. With the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, Rask became only the second Finnish goaltender to do so, after Antti Niemi of the Chicago Blackhawks accomplished the feat the previous year.

On 28 June 2012, Rask re-signed with the Bruins on a one-year, $3.5 million deal. Prior to the declaration of the 2012–13 lockout, Rask was named as the starting goalie for the Bruins, replacing Tim Thomas, who would eventually be traded to the New York Islanders on 7 February 2013.[10] During the lockout, which ended on 6 January 2013, he played for HC Plzeň, which won the Czech Extraliga that year. After the NHL resumed play, Rask led the Bruins to their second Stanley Cup finals in three years in the 2013 playoffs. In the third round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Rask faced 136 shots in four games played, allowing two goals while making 134 saves for a 0.50 GAA and a .985 save percentage. In the Stanley Cup finals, the Bruins were defeated in six games by the Chicago Blackhawks, as Rask registered a .932 save percentage.[11]

On 10 July 2013, the Bruins re-signed Rask to an eight-year, $56 million contract. Following the conclusion of the 2013–14 season, Rask was awarded the NHL's Vezina Trophy, awarded to the "goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position." He posted a 36–15–6 record, highlighted by a career-best 10-game points-won streak from 20 to 30 March, going 9–0–1, as the Bruins captured their first Presidents' Trophy since 1990 and led the Eastern Conference in team defense (2.08 goals allowed per game).[12]

Early in the 2016-17 regular season Rask sustained a groin injury[13] that somewhat hampered his abilities much of the season following a successful October campaign, starting the 2016-17 season with 12 wins and a .938 save percentage in 17 games — he was likely used more often than usual, with the Bruins suffering from "backup goaltender" challenges early in the season — but not enough of a hindrance to manage to help earn the Bruins a slot in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins' first in three seasons. Following a six-game quarterfinal series with the Bruins losing to the Ottawa Senators, 4 games to 2, Rask successfully underwent groin surgery on May 9, 2017, and is expected to be ready for the Bruins' training camp for the 2017-18 NHL season.[14]

International play[edit]

Olympics[edit]

Medal record
Representing  Finland
Men's ice hockey
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Sochi
World Junior Hockey Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Canada

Rask played in four of Finland's six games en route to the Bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics,[15] including a 3–1 defeat of host nation Russia in the quarter-finals,[16] and a shut-out of the United States in the Bronze medal game.[17] He was unable to play in the semifinal against Sweden due to flu, which cost Finland a spot in the final.

World Cup of Hockey[edit]

On 2 March 2016, it was revealed that Rask was to be starting goaltender for Team Finland In the World Cup of Hockey 2016, with Pekka Rinne as their second. Rask played in two out of three tournament games and in one out of three pretournament games.[18]

Off the ice[edit]

In 2015, a recently discovered species of wasp in Kenya was named Thaumatodryinus tuukkaraski in direct reference to the Bruins goaltender. The reasoning given by the authors was that ""[t]his species is named after the acrobatic goaltender for the Finnish National ice hockey team and the Boston Bruins, whose glove hand is as tenacious as the raptorial fore tarsus of this dryinid species”.[19][20]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OT MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2004–05 Ilves SM-l 4 0 1 1 202 15 0 4.46 .875
2005–06 Ilves SM-l 30 12 7 8 1724 60 2 2.09 .926 3 0 3 180 7 0 2.33 .924
2006–07 Ilves SM-l 49 18 18 10 2872 114 3 2.38 .928 7 2 5 397 20 0 3.02 .924
2007–08 Providence Bruins AHL 45 27 13 2 2570 100 1 2.33 .905 10 6 4 605 22 2 2.18 .908
2007–08 Boston Bruins NHL 4 2 1 1 184 10 0 3.25 .886
2008–09 Providence Bruins AHL 57 33 20 4 3340 139 4 2.50 .915 16 9 7 977 36 0 2.21 .930
2008–09 Boston Bruins NHL 1 1 0 0 60 0 1 0.00 1.000
2009–10 Boston Bruins NHL 45 22 12 5 2562 84 5 1.97 .931 13 7 6 829 36 0 2.61 .910
2010–11 Boston Bruins NHL 29 11 14 2 1594 71 2 2.67 .918
2011–12 Boston Bruins NHL 23 11 8 3 1289 44 3 2.05 .929
2012–13 HC Plzeň ELH 17 12 5 0 993 35 1 2.11 .924
2012–13 Boston Bruins NHL 36 19 10 5 2104 70 5 2.00 .927 22 14 8 1466 46 3 1.88 .940
2013–14 Boston Bruins NHL 58 36 15 6 3386 115 7 2.04 .930 12 7 5 753 25 2 1.99 .928
2014–15 Boston Bruins NHL 70 34 21 13 4063 156 3 2.30 .922
2015–16 Boston Bruins NHL 64 31 22 8 3679 157 4 2.56 .915
2016–17 Boston Bruins NHL 65 37 20 5 3680 137 8 2.23 .915 6 2 4 403 15 0 2.24 .920
NHL totals 395 204 123 48 22,602 844 38 2.24 .923 53 30 23 3,451 122 5 2.12 .928

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP W L T/OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2004 Finland WJC18 7th 5 1 1 3 299 8 1 1.61 .927
2005 Finland WJC18 7th 5 2 3 0 278 14 0 3.02 .910
2005 Finland WJC 5th 5 243 12 0 2.96 .902
2006 Finland WJC 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 6 369 13 1 2.11 .940
2007 Finland WJC 6th 6 332 17 0 3.07 .899
2014 Finland OG 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 4 3 1 0 243 7 1 1.73 .937
2016 Finland WCH 8th 2 0 2 0 119 4 0 2.02 .920
Junior totals 27 1521 64 2
Senior totals 6 3 3 0 362 11 1 1.87 .928

Awards and honors[edit]

Awards Year
NHL
Stanley Cup (Boston Bruins) 2011
Vezina Trophy 2014
NHL First All-Star Team 2014
NHL All-Star Game 2017

References[edit]

  1. ^ Simmons, Steve (9 June 2013). "Simmons: Bruins would have taken Pogge instead of Rask from Maple Leafs for Raycroft". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Simmons, Steve (19 March 2013). "Trading Tuukka Rask could be worst Leafs deal ever". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "P-Bruins capture Calder Cup". Boston Bruins. 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  4. ^ "Bruins sign Rask". Boston.com. 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  5. ^ "Bruins blank Rangers behind Rask". National Hockey League. 2009-01-31. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Bruins re-sign Rask to two-year deal". Boston Bruins. 2009-11-05. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  7. ^ "Goaltending Save Percentage leaders". National Hockey League. 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Goal Against Average leaders". National Hockey League. 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  9. ^ "Single Season Goaltending Leaders". hockeyreference.com. 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  10. ^ "Islanders acquire Goaltender Tim Thomas from Bruins". The Sports Network. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Tuukka Rask, Bruins - Game log". NHL. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Bruins' Rask wins his first Vezina Trophy". NHL. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  13. ^ Anderson, Ty (April 27, 2017). "WEEI's Big Bad Blog - Bruins GM Don Sweeney admits team rode Tuukka Rask too hard during season". bigbadblog.weei.com. WEEI. Retrieved May 11, 2017. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask’s season had its peaks and valleys. Rask would be the first to tell you that...But it was the Bruins, out of necessity for the most part, that created those valleys when they overworked the all-world Rask...The numbers backed up that claim, too, as Rask began his season with 12 wins and a .938 save percentage in 17 games. He did that while also nursing an injured groin that put him on the shelf for three games back in October. 
  14. ^ "Patrice Bergeron & Tuukka Rask Undergo Successful Surgeries". nhl.com/bruins. Boston Bruins. May 9, 2017. Retrieved May 11, 2017. Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney issued the following update on Boston Bruins...goaltender Tuukka Rask...Tuukka underwent a successful right groin surgery on May 9 by Dr. Peter Asnis. 
  15. ^ "Finland player statistics" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  16. ^ "Sochi.ru - Ice Hockey - Men - Playoffs Quarterfinals, Game 24" (PDF). stats.iihf.com. International Ice Hockey Federation. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Finland 5, USA 0 Boxscore" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  18. ^ http://ice.wch2016.com/player?id=8471695
  19. ^ Carolyn Y., Johnson (24 February 2015). "Wasp species named in honor of Bruins’ Tuukka Rask". Boston Globe. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask gets new species of wasp in Kenya named after him". National Post. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Alexander Steen
Toronto Maple Leafs first round draft pick
2005
Succeeded by
Jiří Tlustý
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sergei Bobrovsky
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
2014
Succeeded by
Carey Price