Tuukka Rask Named NHL First Star Of The Month For December
Tuukka Rask is the NHL’s First Star of the Month for December after a dominant recent run for the Bruins. He’s played as well as any goalie in the league over Boston’s recent hot streak.
The NHL announced Rask as its First Star of the Month on Tuesday. In 10 December starts, Rask went 9-0-1 with a 1.22 goals against average and .955 save percentage. He tied the Capitals’ Braden Holtby for the league lead in wins in that span. However, his GAA and save percentage led the NHL outright (minimum 10 starts).
As you would expect, the Bruins also went on a tear in December. They’re 15-3-2 in their last 20 games, dating back to Nov. 16.
Tuukka Rask: By The Numbers
— Entering Dec. 1, Rask ranked 31st in the NHL with a poor .899 save percentage. Entering Tuesday, he’s climbed to seventh among qualified goalies at .923.
— In light of the Bruins’ strong overall performance as a team lately, Rask didn’t exactly have to stand on his head every night. Among all goalies with at least 10 starts in December, Rask faced the fourth-fewest shots in the NHL with 290. That’s about 27 shots per 60 minutes.
— Rask also performed better than any NHL goalie on the road. His 0.85 GAA and .969 save percentage both led the league, and he also posted two shutouts (minimum four games played).
All in all, Rask has absolutely turned things around for himself in the past month and change. At the same time he benefited from the Bruins playing much better in front of him – but so would any goalie. He delivered occasional timely saves when needed and made most of the saves he should make.
There’s still a long way to go before we can talk playoff series or Vezinas. But with the Bruins playing as well as they are and both goalies fortifying the back end over the course of their hot streak, they’re one of the league’s toughest teams to beat right now.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff.