So far this season, the Vezina Trophy Winner has not been the Vezina Trophy Winner. A few weeks ago, Tuukka’s save percentage was just a little bit over 91%, which is pretty average for a goalie in today’s NHL. But in his past 7 games, the Tuukka that we know and love seems to be back.
In the last 7, Rask’s save percentages have been .972, .949, .960, .842, 1.000, .933, and .973. That’s 5 awesome games, 1 really good game, and 1 flop. Imagine that in a 7 game series (which is admittedly kind of a dumb way to look at it, the biggest reason being because the Bruins would be facing a good team for 7 games rather than teams like the Hurricanes, Flyers, and Blue Jackets). That would be a pretty damn good series, and it’s more than we’d expect from Tuukka, Vezina and all.
It should come as no surprise that the Bruins recent win streak had coincided with Tuukka’s step up in how he’s playing… but actually, it hasn’t equaled wins. Tuukka’s performances of .972 and .933 came in losses (the first one in overtimes), and his .842 performance came in a win. So that’s weird.
But maybe it’s somewhat encouraging. Maybe the Bruins are playing a little better in front of Rask because they have more confidence in the goalie behind them, but most of the difference in the team’s play is due to them just playing better all around, of course. Pastrnak becoming a beast helps a lot, but the whole team is playing better, and we can see it. While the Bruins have won more during Tuukka’s resurgence, only 1 of their wins in the past 6 has come by 1 goal, so they haven’t needed him to stand on his head all that much in order to win. That’s a good sign that the Bruins are becoming the Presidents’ Trophy winners from last year once again, the same way that Tuukka Rask is becoming last year’s Vezina Trophy winner once again.