Tuukka Rask Meltdown

Tuukka Rask is a highly touted, 22 year old NHL goalie prospect in the Boston Bruins pipeline.  He was drafted 21st overall back in the 2005 entry draft, and is currently leading Boston’s AHL affiliate, The Providence Bruins with a 2.51 30-19-3 record.  He has a 2.51 GAA, 91.5 save%, and 4 shutouts on the year for the baby Bruins.

This past friday, Rask had a noteworthy preformance against the Albany River Rats.  First, he posted a shutout through regulation to give his team (which was also shutout), a chance to secure a victory in the shootout competition.  It was during this shootout however, that things really got interesting

With the P-Bruins leading the shootout, 1-0, Albany’s Jakub Petruzalek skated in on Rask, lost the puck, recovered and then hesitated before he fired a shot from the bottom of the left circle past a sprawled-out Rask. Much to everyone’s surprise, the goal was counted.

Harrison Reed followed with a goal of his own tucked right under the crossbar for the game-winner to lift the Rats to a 1-0 victory. After the Reed goal, Rask chased referee Frederick L’Ecuyer toward the penalty box and then let his emotions out by slamming and tossing his stick and then chucking a milk crate.

“He went backwards and stopped the play and waited three seconds and then shot it,” said Rask after the game. “I guess the guy didn’t believe it either because he stopped and then took the shot.  As long as the ref doesn’t blow the whistle, it’s game on I guess.”

While Rask’s meltdown is probably one of the more interesting and/or comical moments in goaltending history, this incident could possibly raise concerns about the prospect (who is widely consider Boston’s future goaltender) and his mental game.  Any goaltender, or NHL scout can tell you that the mental game of a goalie is every bit as crucial to success at the NHL level as physical skill/capability is.  While some goalies do very well playing on the edge of their emotions… for others, a lack of focus due to emotions can lead to a game changing goal at an inopportune moment.  

I suspect that it is a distinct possibility that when the time came for the second Albany player to attempt the shootout, Rask was still thinking about the previous goal.  This slight distraction could have lead to the second & game-clinching goal against the P-Bruins net-minder. 

While it’s completely possible that Rask may have a tremendous NHL career in spite of his outbursts and flagrant signs of emotion… my money is on his emotions being a negative for his future as a professional goalie, and not a positive.  He needs to learn to avoid getting upset, while focusing his disgust for bad calls on keeping the rubber out of his net. 

See below for a clip of the incident:

2 Responses to “Tuukka Rask Meltdown”

  1. Dead Linque Says:

    Y is he flipping the fuk out?

  2. Runa Sezaki Says:

    This is absolutely hilarious

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