Haggerty: I'd Give Tuukka Rask A "C" For First-Round Performance

"He didn’t look sharp, and the team didn’t look confident in front of him," Joe Haggerty said

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
April 26, 2018 - 8:53 am

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Well, it wasn’t pretty, but the Boston Bruins survived the Toronto Maple Leafs, winning Game 7 of their first-round playoff series 7-4 on Wednesday. Tuukka Rask allowed four goals through two periods but held Toronto scoreless in the final period, as Boston turned a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 win. 

Rask finished the series with a 2.94 goals against average and an 89.9 save percentage.

What grade should he get for the series?

“I’d probably give him a C for that series,” NBC Sports Boston's Joe Haggerty said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “He had his moments. He definitely had some outstanding moments – like Game 4 where Patrice Bergeron didn’t play and he was outstanding. There were times when he was pretty good and certainly wasn’t the problem. He got pulled in Game 5 – he was not good in that game. He gave up a horrendous third goal in that game that really hurt the Bruins, and there were several goals he gave up (in Game 7) in the first couple of periods – four goals allowed in 16 shots – that were not good as well. He didn’t look sharp, the team didn’t look confident in front of him, and it really looked messy in the first two periods. It looked like they were going down the road to getting eliminated and Tuukka Rask was going to be the one wearing the goat.”

Instead, Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand scored third-period goals to bail out their beleaguered goaltender.

Still, one must wonder about Rask’s psyche going forward. The Bruins will face Tampa Bay in the second round, with Game 1 slated for Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.

“You’ve got to wonder what he’s going to give you in the big games of this next series after some of the stuff you saw in the first round,” Haggerty said. For most of the series, he was outplayed by Frederik Andersen. That changed obviously in the third period of Game 7, but now they’re going to be going against a much better team and a much better goalie in Andre Vasilevskiy."