TORONTO – Whenever rookie Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask beat the Maple Leafs, Toronto fans were painfully reminded of what could have been.
That wasn’t the case Saturday night, however, as rookie Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson backstopped the Leafs to a 2-0 victory over the Boston Bruins.
Rask, 22, was originally drafted by Toronto 21st overall in 2005, but was infamously, in Toronto at least, dealt to Boston for current Vancouver Canucks backup Andrew Raycroft.
Rask is currently 9-3-2 with Boston and entered action Saturday second in the NHL in both goals-against average and save percentage.
It was his third start against the Leafs in the past two weeks – both prior starts were one-sided victories for Boston – and first loss to a Toronto organization he never actually played for.
“It hit the side of my glove and hit my stick and hit the post, and went in,” Rask said about a soft first goal he let in Saturday night.
Despite the loss Rask played well, making a few point-blank saves and pushing aside 29 shots in all.
“It was just a blackout I guess,” he said. “You see the guy skating and he’s got the puck for 10 seconds, you’re ready for the shot and square and everything…it happens.”
Such incidents haven’t happened much this season for this season for Rask, a native of the goalie factory that is Finland. Rask has, in many people’s eyes, outperformed Boston’s incumbent No. 1, Tim Thomas, who is also the reigning Vezina Trophy winner.
Rask has started 10 of the past 15 Boston games, going 6-3-1 during that span and helping Boston, the reigning Eastern Conference champs, back into a playoff position.