Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/15/14
One of the many ways in which hockey is really a very simple game: A goalie usually plays as well, or as poorly, as the team in front of him plays. That’s not always the case. But most of the time it is. In many recent games, Tuukka Rask hasn’t looked quite himself. Too many seemingly stoppable pucks eluded him. But if he hasn’t played great, neither has the team in front of him. The B’s terrific 1-0 win in San Jose on Saturday was the exception, with both Rask and his team in prime form, but in losing three of their last four games neither the team nor the goalie has looked good. The trend continued last night at the Garden, where Rask & Co. allowed some not-so-great goals in a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. “It’s frustrating, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” said Rask. “Same with me. I’ve just got to battle through it and hope for better. You saw in San Jose, when we’re stingy defensively, it helped everybody out.” Maybe the most revealing comment was in response to a question about the special teams. Specifically, how difficult is it to win when your penalty killing and power play aren’t getting the job done? “It’s almost impossible,” said the Bruins goaltender. “No matter how good you are 5-on-5, your PK has to be there. It has to give your team a chance. Lately it hasn’t been there, it hasn’t been as good as it was before. The power play? We’re getting chances but not bearing down on those. “It’s tough, but you go through times like these. It’s just a matter of how you recover and come back.” The numbers are not pretty: In their last seven games, the Bruins allowed 10 power-play goals, two last night. “Lately it’s been we let in one, we let in two or three, or even four,” said Rask. “It snowballs. We’ve got to get off that (and make it) just one at a time.” The Bruins had a 2-1 lead in the middle of the first period when the Leafs netted their first PPG. It came on a nice pass from low right of the net by James van Riemsdyk to Tyler Bozak low on the opposite side, for an easy forehand finish.
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