You couldn’t blame Tuukka Rask for being disappointed after getting outperformed by Carey Price — at TD Garden, no less — in Game 1 of the Boston-Montreal series… but this might be a tad overboard:
Tuukka Rask: “I was (expletive) tonight. I need to be better. From a goaltending standpoint Price outplayed me tonight” #BruinsTalk
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) May 2, 2014
Rask on his own play “when you suck you suck.”
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 2, 2014
While it’s true he was outplayed by Price, Rask wasn’t nearly as bad as these quotes suggest. The quantity of saves wasn’t there, but the Finnish netminder did make a number of quality stops, including this highlight-reel glove snare on a Tomas Plekanec wrister:
If nothing else, the “I was [rhymes with bit]” line gives good insight into how high a standard Rask holds himself to. He was terrific last posteason and followed that up with his first-ever Vezina nomination this year; in the opening-round victory over Detroit, he went 4-1 with a .961 save percentage while allowing just six goals in five games, notching a shutout in Game 3.
We could also be seeing the start of an elite goaltending rivalry between Rask and Price. The two are reasonably close in age (Rask’s 27, Price is 26) and seem to be in their primes — while Price was on the outside looking in with regards to Vezina nominations, he did best Rask at the Olympics and now has the edge in this series… though it’s important to remember it’s only Game 1.