Goalie Nation: Rask leads league, rookie goaltenders raising the bar
On Friday night, Boston Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask made 33 saves to clinch his League-leading fourth shutout of the season and the 20th of his NHL career.
The shutout ensured Rask’s spot in Bruins goaltending history, becoming the eighth goalie in Bruins history to record 20 shutouts. He is in the company of Tiny Thompson (74), Frank Brimsek (35), Tim Thomas (31), Eddie Johnston (27), Gerry Cheevers (26) Byron Dafoe (25) and Jim Henry (24). The Bruins join two other Original Six teams in the Montreal Canadiens (9) and New York Rangers (8) who have as many 20-shutout goaltenders or more, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Rask isn’t the only Finnish goalie having success through the first half of the 2013-2014 season. 24-year old Anttii Raanta of the Chicago Blackhawks made his NHL debut in November and earned his ninth win of the season, making 16 stops on Friday and improving his record to 9-1-2.
Vancouver’s rookie, Eddie Lack (7-2-0), has also grabbed attention as one of the shining backup’s this season by making 18 saves on Sunday night for his second shutout and fifth consecutive win. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lack is the third rookie goaltender in Vancouver to ever post two of more shutouts in one season.
Through his first 11 appearances in the NHL, Lack has allowed two or fewer goals, carrying an impressive 7-2-0 record with a 1.74 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
Other rookie goalies to watch for:
Philipp Grubauer, Washington Capitals: 5-1-2
Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks: 9-2-0
Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings: 8-1-0
Buffalo’s Ryan Miller is reportedly leading the way for Team USA’s goaltending trio this February, and his performance Sunday night against the Washington Capitals is a perfect example as to why.
The 33-year old veteran made a career-high 49 saves and stopped all six shots he faced in the shootout following the 65-minute game to register win No.10 of the season and the fourth straight home win at First Niagra Center.
Miller is responsible for 10 of the 11 victories Buffalo has managed this season as they continue to occupy the last place spot in the Eastern Conference.