Two of the league’s best young goalies are going head-to-head today as Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky engage in a matinee at Nationwide Arena.
Prior to, the Rask had some complimentary things to say about his counterpart.
“[Bobrovsky’s] not the typical Russian goalie,” Rask told the Boston Herald. “Most of the Russians who come out now are pretty technical. He’s a butterfly goalie, but he’s also pretty athletic.
“He can make that amazing save when needed.”
Both goalies have been remarkably stingy this year. Rask is 2-1-0 with a 1.01 GAA and .966 save percentage; Bobrovsky is also 2-1-0, with 2.27 GAA and .920 save percentage.
In terms of bragging rights, each has something to bring to the table.
Bobrovsky’s the reigning Vezina winner and, in keeping with the theme of this post, the first-ever Russian to capture the award. But Rask’s got plenty on his resume as well, including a trip to last year’s Stanley Cup Final and a new $56 million contract extension, making him one of the NHL’s highest-paid netminders.
Rask appears to be a real student of the game, especially when it comes to fellow members of the goalie’s union. He sounds like someone that’s thoroughly studied Bobrovsky’s game, and likes what he sees.
“Goalies have to be athletic and in good shape, especially the way (the NHL is) cutting down our gear every year. It seems to get smaller every year,” he told the Herald. So you have to be athletic and be more of a hybrid than just trying to cut your angles and be big.
“Bobrovsky is very good at both.”