Rask looking strong for Bruins 

September, 16, 2009

If the Bruins' plan is to move promising rookie stopper Tuukka Rask into the No. 2 job behind Vezina Trophy-winning starter Tim Thomas -- and we're pretty darn sure that's their plan -- it got off to a good start Tuesday night in New York.

The Finnish-born netminder seemed to be in midseason form, turning back 31 of 32 shots (including 26 of 27 in the final 40 minutes) en route to an exhibition slate-opening 2-1 win over the Rangers. Afterward, B's coach Claude Julien was impressed with his young goalie, saying simply, "[Rask] was very good tonight."

Julien thinks his 22-year-old goalie is a little stronger and a little smarter after a couple of full seasons with the club's AHL affiliate in Providence. That seems logical. The coach also sees a better positional goaltender. "He's squared up, and a lot of pucks are hitting him," Julien said. In case you're wondering, that's a good thing. Rask did a nice job of controlling loose pucks around the net, too.

To read more about Tuukka Rask, Rangers prospects and how the Bruins are handling the absence of Phil Kessel, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.