On Wednesday, Claude Julien acknowledged the struggles affecting netminder Tuukka Rask.
“Right now [Rask] feels great. He doesn’t feel tired,” Julien said, per the Boston Herald. “He just doesn’t feel his game is where it should be. We all agree on that.”
Rask, in the first of an eight-year, $56 million deal, has fallen on hard times lately. He’s gone 2-7-0 since shutting out Ottawa on Dec. 27, getting hooked twice — once in a 4-3 loss to the Sens, and again in a 4-2 loss to L.A.
While he has posted some good efforts over this stretch — including a 36-save win over Winnipeg and a 26-save shutout over San Jose — Rask has been inconsistent. He’s struggled to follow up one good performance with a second solid outing, and has a .898 save percentage in January.
That said, Julien wasn’t prepared to pin all of Boston’s latest issues on Rask.
“You’ve seen a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes from our end — mismanaging the puck and turnovers and our penalty kill running around and giving guys good opportunities,” he explained. “There’s lot of blame to go around.”