Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is off to the best start of his young career, sporting a 5-1-1 record, 2.10 goals-against and a .919 save percentage through six games played. Despite those impressive numbers, Rask has had an up-and-down season against the Northeast Division. He had a solid win against the Maple leafs in a shutout, and an abysmal six-goals-against performance at the hands of the Sabres.
Tomorrow night, the Bruins face off in Montreal for their first game against the hated Habs during this shortened NHL season. The Canadiens sit at an impressive 6-2-0 record thus far, and are arguably the toughest opponent the B's will have up to this date.
Statistically in his career, Rask has struggled more against Montreal than any other opponent in the league. Here's a basic game-by-game breakdown:
12/6/07- L, 4 GA
2/4/10- L, 2 GA (SO)
2/7/10- W, 0 GA
3/2/10- L, 4 GA
3/13/10- L, 3 GA
11/11/10- L, 3 GA
3/8/11- L, 4 GA
10/29/11- L, 3 GA
That accumulates to a 1-6-1 record, 2.76 goals-against and a .908 save percentage in nine career games, eight of them being starts. In those games, the Montreal power-play has been the difference, going 9/27 (33.3%), and tomorrow night that will once again be the key to the game.
On the season, the Canadiens have gone 11 for 46 on the power-play, ninth best in the NHL at 23.9%. Of course the Bruins penalty kill has been outstanding, stopping 32 of 34 short-handed opportunities, giving them the second best mark in the league, at 94.1%.
So all things considered, one thing we can definitively say is that the stats are not in Tuukka's favor heading North of the boarder. What the Bruins need is their power-play to pick up the rest of the team, not just Rask, and what better time than versus their most despised rivals.
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