The St. Louis Blues were unable to get much going in the first two periods of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday against Tuukka Rask, so they resorted to other tactics to try and throw the Bruins goalie off his game.
During the second period, Blues winger Sammy Blais attempted a shot on goal that missed wide of the net. David Perron was skating in towards the goal at the time and collided with Rask, bumping him to the ice. Rask got up and the two were in each others’ faces before being separated.
Rask had stopped 17 of 18 shots to that point and his Bruins were leading 5-1.
NBC Sports’ analysts were expecting some retaliation from the Bruins for Perron shoving Rask. That seemed to happen quickly. Early in the third period, several Bruins converged on Perron with the puck in front of Boston’s net. Perron got called for roughing, while Connor Clifton was called for cross-checking, resulting in a 4 on 4.
The Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 on Thursday night to complete the sweep and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Boston dominated throughout the series, outscoring the Hurricanes 11-4 over the first two games and winning with a shutout to seal things in Game 4.
Boston made things look easy against Carolina, and apparently that’s how it felt for Tuukka Rask.
The Bruins goaltender was asked in an interview with NBC Sports Network after the game what Carolina did that gave them problems in the series.
“Not a whole lot,” Rask said. “I thought we defended so well that there wasn’t a whole lot. The little rush chances they got were probably the most difficult. We kept everything on the outside. There was not a lot of traffic, so it’s easier when you see the puck. We defended really, really well.”
Rask made 24 saves in the game for his second shutout of the postseason. He had a .956 save percentage in the series against Carolina.
Boston now advances to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2013, while Carolina was swept for the fourth time in franchise history. The Bruins await the winner of the Blues-Sharks series.
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask had a laser pointer shined on him during Thursday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. In the second period of Boston’s 6-4 loss, you could clearly see a large green dot moving around Rask’s pads and crease area.
After the game, Rask told reporters that he did not see the light on himself but did notice it when the Bruins had the puck in their offensive zone.
“At me? No. You know, I saw it in the second but it was in the offensive zone,” Rask said, via ESPNBoston.com’s Joe McDonald. “Good thing I didn’t go blind or anything.”
I don’t know about going blind, but the light obviously could have distracted Rask when a puck was coming at him if it was flashed directly in his face.
Laser pointers are banned from sports venues, but there’s no way security can really prevent people from having a tiny gadget in their pocket. The light from Thursday night’s laser looked similar to the one we saw a Detroit Lions fan admit to pointing at Buffalo Bills players earlier this month. Some people are just plain idiotic.
Tuukka Rask enjoyed yet another phenomenal game for the Boston Bruins on Monday night, shutting out the Chicago Blackhawks to help Boston take a 2-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. After the game, NBC’s Pierre McGuire asked the goaltender if rebound control is something he has worked on this year. Rask told him that it is something he is always working on, especially toward the end of the period when the ice gets all hacked up. Except, he described it a bit differently.
“It’s tough because the ice gets so sh***y towards the end of the period, so you’ve got to pay extra attention to that,” Rask explained. “It’s worked well so far. You’ve got to be ready for those crazy bounces. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Rask is not the first player to swear during an interview with McGuire during this series. The last guy who did it blamed exhaustion after the game, so it will be interesting to see if Rask tries to explain himself. Perhaps he can pull the “English is not my first language” card. With the way Tuukka has played in the 2013 playoffs, I’m sure the Bruins are fine with him saying whatever he wants.
Sidney Crosby is not known as a physical player. In fact, he’s the exact opposite; he’s a skilled player who has accrued just 417 penalty minutes in 470 career games. But as the second period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins came to a close, Crosby got into it with two different Bruins.
The Bruins were up 1-0 and managed to keep the Penguins from scoring despite Pittsburgh being on the power play to end the period. While Evgeni Malkin and Patrice Bergeron got most of the attention for dropping gloves after the period ended, what should not go unnoticed is what happened with Crosby and Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.
Rask was skating off the ice after the period ended and crossed paths with Crosby as the Pens captain was headed over to the pile of players who met in the middle of the ice. Crosby gave Rask a nudge with his elbow, and Rask may have responded because Crosby turned around and went back to confront Rask. Crosby gave him a cross check. As the Bergeron-Malkin fight was being broken up by the officials, Crosby had words with Chara. Maybe it was just two captains trying to stand up for their teams.
“They’re letting a lot go out there, and the more it gets like that, the more it’s going to escalate. You can only control and channel that stuff so much. You keep letting guys do that stuff, you’re just going to push the envelope. That’s something we obviously want to stay away from, but it’s kind of a natural thing when it gets like that,” Crosby said after the game, per Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The teams will play Game 2 on Monday in Pittsburgh. It will be interesting to see how the officials handle things after all the physical play in Game 1. After Matt Cooke’s hit on Adam McQuaid, I can imagine things continuing to be physical.
Kaspars Daugavins got extremely creative with his sick shootout attempt against Tuukka Rask on Monday, though his move was ultimately unsuccessful.
Daugavins, who entered the shootout 1-for-2 in shootouts on the season, flipped his stick upside down and controlled the puck with the nose of his stick’s blade. As he approached Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, he did a spin-o-rama and tried slipping the puck in the net. Rask did an excellent job extending his leg to stop the shot, which allowed the Bruins to beat the Ottawa Senators in the shootout and win the game 3-2.
As Greg Wyshinski at Puck Daddy points out, Daugavins has done this move before. He scored on the same move in an AHL shootout in 2010: