Bruins’ Rask-Halak tandem finishes year as NHL’s top duo
By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins winger David Pastrnak isn’t the only Boston talent walking away with some hardware following the conclusion of a pandemic-shortened 2019-20 regular season, as the team’s one-two punch of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak will take home the Williams M. Jennings Trophy as the league’s stingiest tandem.
Introduced in the 1981-82 season, the Jennings Trophy is awarded annually to the goaltenders who allowed the fewest goals during the regular season, and that’s exactly what the Rask-Halak duo did in 2019-20, with 167 goals against in 70 games.
The duo, which combined for 44 wins in 70 games en route to a league-best 100 points, had a seven-goal edge on the league’s second-stingiest tandem, which was the Stars’ Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin combination.
This marks the third time that a Boston tandem won the award, with the Rask-Halak one-two punch joining the Andy Moog-Reggie Lemelin duo in 1989-90 and the Tim Thomas-Manny Fernandez in 2008-09. (This is actually Halak’s second time winning the award, as he won it in 2011-12 as a member of the Blues’ one-two punch with Brian Elliott.)
In addition to his Jennings win, Rask will likely be in discussion for the Vezina Trophy, too, as he finished the 2019-20 season with the league’s top goals against average (2.12) and second-best save percentage (.929) among qualifying goaltenders.