Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/8/13
BOSTON — We can stop with those silly questions now when it comes to Tuukka Rask. Facing arguably the best offense in hockey today, Rask turned in perhaps the greatest four-game stretch of his life with another shutout win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final. In the process, Rask hopefully quieted some of the nay-sayers when it comes to his ability to close out a series. Rask entered Friday’s game with just a 3-8 record in closeout games, the majority of those stemming from the 2010 second-round series with Philadelphia in which the Bruins coughed up a 3-0 series lead. Maybe that’s what was motivating Rask. Maybe it was all the talk about how good the Penguins were offensively. Whatever it was, it worked for Rask, who allowed just two goals in four games against Pittsburgh. “I felt pretty good throughout these games,” Rask said after the Game 4 win.”It helps when you get a good start. I thought we played a pretty good game. Game 1 there took the 1-0 lead in the series and felt good about ourselves and I think that helps the team confidence moving forward and then taking another one too, so I think we were really focused throughout the series. A couple bad periods, but that’s about it.” With the Bruins moving onto the Stanley Cup Final, there’s no denying Rask is one of, if not the biggest reason why. He’s now 12-4 in these playoffs with a 1.75 goals against average and a league-leading .943 save percentage. That’s even more impressive when you consider he just spent the last four games fending off shots from the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The comparisons to Tim Thomas’ run on the way to the Stanley Cup in 2011 are only natural, and Rask is carrying the B’s in a similar way. “I mean, you know, Timmy did it for us for numerous years,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “To a certain extent you got to hope that Tuukka learned from that as well, seized the moment when he had the chance. Although they’re different personalities, both have good personalities, don’t get me wrong, but different personalities, I think a lot of Timmy’s commitment and desire to be the best he could be every night has rubbed off on Tuukka. Tuukka has learned from that. Right now he’s in a zone that you hope he can hold on to. Without that kind of goaltending, you don’t get a chance at winning a Cup.” The Bruins, no matter who they’ll face in the Cup Final, have a great chance of winning, based solely on the way Rask is playing. He admitted this is probably his best stretch of hockey, but it is also newfound territory for the goaltender. While he served as the backup in the 2011 run, this is Rask’s chance to step up and shine. It’s likely he’ll be ready for that. The plan, in theory at least, is for Rask to not let the situation get too big. “You can’t make too big of a deal out of it because it’s the same game. It’s just the Stanley Cup is on the line, but it’s still the same game, and you have to stay focused and focus on your job.” If he can do that, there’s a good chance the Bruins are just a couple of weeks from raising the Stanley Cup.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker