Rask looking strong for Bruins 

September, 16, 2009
09/16/09
9:27
AM ET

If the Bruins' plan is to move promising rookie stopper Tuukka Rask into the No. 2 job behind Vezina Trophy-winning starter Tim Thomas -- and we're pretty darn sure that's their plan -- it got off to a good start Tuesday night in New York.

The Finnish-born netminder seemed to be in midseason form, turning back 31 of 32 shots (including 26 of 27 in the final 40 minutes) en route to an exhibition slate-opening 2-1 win over the Rangers. Afterward, B's coach Claude Julien was impressed with his young goalie, saying simply, "[Rask] was very good tonight."

Julien thinks his 22-year-old goalie is a little stronger and a little smarter after a couple of full seasons with the club's AHL affiliate in Providence. That seems logical. The coach also sees a better positional goaltender. "He's squared up, and a lot of pucks are hitting him," Julien said. In case you're wondering, that's a good thing. Rask did a nice job of controlling loose pucks around the net, too.

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E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.

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