Tuukka Rask lost it for a moment on Thursday night, and it was glorious.
The Bruins goaltender felt as big a need as ever to protect his crease during his team’s 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. Tampa’s Cory Conacher picked the wrong time to topple into Tuukka’s area, and found himself on the receiving end of some Finnish fists from No. 40.
Watch the full altercation, aptly termed a “Pier 6” brawl by NESN’s Jack Edwards, in the video below, via Barstool Sports’ Maria Molnar:
NOTHING BUT RESPECT FOR MY GOALIE TUUKKA RASK pic.twitter.com/fy8NHofjwg— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) March 30, 2018
Despite the visceral thrills of a goalie mucking it up – perhaps the only thing more rare than David Pastrnak’s Gordie Howe Hat Trick – Rask knows he can’t just start pummeling anyone that gets too close to him. But would he do it again in the right situation?
“It’s impossible to say, but as I said, whatever I feel out there, try and protect yourself,” said Rask. “Stuff happens in the heat of the moment. Hopefully I don’t start doing that every game. I have to go have a couple beers now and cool off.”
But like Pastrnak, it’s still a great sign to see Rask as emotionally invested in the game as he clearly was.
“I think you always want to be calm, but you want to be in the game too and protect your crease and yourself,” said Rask. “Good thing I was emotionally engaged I guess.”
“He’s Defending His Territory”
Bruce Cassidy also acknowledged that it can’t happen every night with Rask, but it was still great to see that rare level of fire and urgency out of his goalie. The head coach felt Rask handled the situation perfectly.
“He’s defending his territory without being reckless, I didn’t think,” said Cassidy. “He just did what he had to do in that situation, calmed down and played.”
Thursday night at TD Garden boasted a playoff-like atmosphere for the second straight Bruins game. And with the way the Bruins stuck up for each other in multiple situations, they looked and felt like a team poised to bulldoze its way to the Stanley Cup.
We’ll see if they can keep playing this way when the games heat up and get heavier when the Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off. But at least they’re showing that capability.
— 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 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.