WILMINGTON – You knew as soon as Tuukka Rask made back-to-back dynamite saves against the New York dynamic duo of Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik in the closing moments of regulation Wednesday night that the Bruins goaltender would hog the spotlight on the evening hockey highlight shows – and even crack the video reels of other programming.
Rask knows that as a casual TV viewer he won’t be able to avoid seeing those amazing stops that earned the Bruins a point from their overtime loss at Madison Square Garden, but he hasn’t gone out of his way to watch his exploits.
In fact, despite a lengthy list of career saves that would be worthy of their own DVD, Rask doesn’t typically add his most impressive stops to his DVR queue.
“Not really. You play the game and you know how it feels and you know that you made a save, so you don’t have to boost your ego anymore,” Rask said after an off-ice workout Wednesday, as the Bruins rested their legs after the hard-fought defeat in the Big Apple.
Tuukka Rask On Game vs. Rangers:
If you’re a Bruins backer, your disappointment about the loss was tapered by all the positives the club was able to take out of it, including Nathan Horton’s first goal in more than a year and Dougie Hamilton’s ability to set up Brad Marchand for the team’s first power-play goal.
But tops on the list of reasons to be glowing about the loss has to be Rask and his season-high 29 saves against a desperate Rangers team that Rask admitted crashed the net a lot of a created a large amount of traffic.
Without the burden of playing any back-to-back games, the Bruins have ridden Rask to five of a possible six points in the standings through three games. And maybe we’d be talking about a perfect 6-for-6 had Gaborik not been able to bat home the overtime rebound after Rask’s initial save on the speedster’s breakaway.
Rask played a bit overseas during the lockout, but they say nothing can prepare you for NHL shooters and the speed of the game like actually playing. Well, Rask has played as though he’s three months, not three games, into the 2013 campaign.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what it feels like,” Rask said when asked if it feels like January or October in terms of the point of the season. “But I don’t feel rusty out there. I feel pretty comfortable. So that’s a good sign. You’ve just got to make sure you stay prepared and ready for these games.”
With saves spectacular and routine, Rask has been a joy to watch through three games, even if he’s not interested in watching himself.
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for CBSBoston.com and also contributes coverage to NHL.com and several other media outlets. Follow him on twitter @TheBruinsBlog.