With the signing of Jaroslav Halak, the Bruins goalie situation is set for next season. Barring any unforeseen injury, Halak will be the Bruins backup goalie. The Bruins also have prospects, Zane Mcintrye and Dan Vladar, waiting in the wings. Rask will be 31 when next season starts and entering his 11th season in the NHL, all with the Bruins. He and Halak will be key for the Bruins next season as they will be looking to make a deep postseason run.
What To Expect from New Bruins Goalie Jaroslav Halak
Last season Halak did not have the best numbers. He appeared in fifty plus games for the first time since the 2014-2015 season. He had a goals-against average of 3.19 and save percentage of .908. Those numbers should improve in Boston as he will have a better defensive unit in front of him. Halak will not have such a heavy workload as he will not be expected to appear in fifty games. Last season, Anton Khudobin appeared in 31 games while backing up Rask, which is what will be expected of Halak. With a smaller workload, Halak has been better. During the 2015-2016 season, he appeared in 36 games recording a 2.30 Goals Against average and .919 save percentage. His six shutouts last season were his most since the 2011-2012 season when he had seven.
Photo Credit: Jim Mclsaac
Rask will be the starter barring any dramatic changes. During his tenure in Boston, Rask has received heavy criticism for a lack of postseason success. After struggling at beginning of last season he went on an incredible streak. Rask helped the Bruins earn a point in at least 21 straight games. He finished with a save percentage of .917, his highest since the 2014-2015 season. His 34 wins last season made him the first Bruins goaltender to win 30 or more games in five seasons. In the postseason, Rask was not dominant as he allowed 33 goals but it was not entirely his fault. The Bruins struggled to prevent the stretch pass and were prone to turnovers leaving Rask in tough situations.
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What To Expect From the Bruins Netminders
Last season, Rask’s goals-against average rose from 2.23 the season before to 2.36. Rask was still solid and carried the Bruins at times throughout the season. He is at his best when he is not overworked like last season when he appeared in 54 games. The three seasons prior Rask had appeared in at least sixty plus games during the regular season. Halak will have to be solid to give Rask rest and, like Khudobin, push him at times. Trading Rask is unlikely to happen and keeping him fresh for the postseason will be a priority.