Rask the man amid mayhem
Saturday, June 8, 2013 PrintEmail Comments (2)
By:
Stephen Harris, Bruins Beat

For Tuukka Rask to finish the job, it came down to an utterly insane final 30 seconds and an absolutely perfect last, what, tenth of a second?

There was so much history in the air at the berserk TD Garden last night, so much emotion and excitement and delighted disbelief, as the final shift of a completely ridiculous Eastern Conference title series played out.

Surely there were thoughts about being brushed aside by Mario Lemieux and the Pens twice in conference finals in the early 1990s. And about Cam Neely’s battles with Ulf Samuelsson. And about another Penguins cheap-shot guy, Matt Cooke, effectively ending Marc Savard’s career. And about Jarome Iginla snubbing the Bruins to be a Penguin.

And there was a new series that few folks outside of Boston imagined the Bruins could win, not against the deepest and most talented NHL team in many a year.

So here it was, a half-minute to go, Tomas Vokoun gone from the Pittsburgh net, Bruins leading Game 4, 1-0, and a sweep of the vaunted Pens moments away.

And all hell was breaking loose in front of Rask.

“Oh, my goodness,” said Rask, trying to recall all the mayhem. “I lost my stick. They had the puck and they were just throwing everything at the net. They made that back-door play to (Evgeni) Malkin. Malkin had a great look there (but) he didn’t shoot it. I scrambled there, he didn’t shoot. He deked Z (Zdeno Chara) and Z was laying on the ground and saved it.

“We had the puck and I saw there was 14 seconds left but we couldn’t clear it. The last thing I saw, it was at their ‘D.’ Somehow I saw it.”

The final shot wasn’t from a defenseman, but, with one last dramatic flourish, Iginla. Rask spotted the puck amid all the chaos, gloved it, and the B’s had a sweep of the Pens no one would have dreamed possible.

“I don’t know if it would have ounted or not,” said Rask of that final shot, the 26th of the game and the 136th in the four games. Rask merely stopped 134 of them.

“Too much,” he said of the crazy end. “I looked at the clock right afterward and it was all zeros. I don’t know if it would have counted. It’s just a scramble. People laying everywhere, you don’t have a stick. I don’t know . . . you’re just trying to throw yourself as big as you can and stop the puck.”

Rask was absolutely immense in this series. Two goals allowed and two shutouts against a team that came into the series averaging more than four goals a game. Yet, as is usually the case with the super-calm Finn, he shrugged it all off.