There was a fleeting thought that perhaps Anton Khudobin would get the starting nod against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
After all, the Bruins are 16-3-1 in their last 20 games against a downtrodden Isles bunch and entered Nassau Coliseum feeling like they had a good shot at two points against a team that can’t win on their home ice.
But Tuukka Rask is also in the middle of a seven-game stretch where he hasn’t allowed more than two goals in a regulation game dating back to Jan. 31, and is backstopping a defense that’s allowed a grand total of six goals in their last four games. Meanwhile the Bruins could potentially save Khudobin for a Thursday night game against the Ottawa Senators at home after the backup goaltender mystified the Senators in a 44-save masterpiece at Scotiabank Place last season.
So Rask got the call once again.
The Bruins defense was a little leakier than usual Tuesday against an offensively talented Islanders crew, but Rask stepped up for his fourth straight win while making a season-high 36 saves in the 4-1 victory over New York. The Finnish netminder was clearly happy to bank the two points and continue the best start for the Bruins franchise dating back to 1976-77.
But Rask also isn’t satisfied with some of the imperfections hanging around in Boston’s game while they continue winning hockey games.
“It was a pretty entertaining game to watch for the audience. I feel comfortable, but then feelings can change while the game is going on,” said Rask. “I felt like we didn’t really match their work ethic in the third and that was unlike Bruins hockey. But we were just glad to get the win.
“You’ve got to appreciate their offense. We should know they’ve got good forwards over there. We talked about those things before the game, but then we just don’t do what we talked about. We turned the puck over too many times to give them chances. I don’t want to be overly negative here. But we’re not playing our best hockey. You’ve got to be confident when you’re winning, but we’re not playing a full 60 [minutes].”
The Tuukka Rask Show continues through Long Island
CSN New England | Feb 27