As if the latest political views of Tim Thomas isn’t enough of a distraction for the Bruins, goaltender Tuukka Rask has some choice words he expressed to his native country as well. In an interview with Finnish magazine ,Urheilu Lehti, Rask spoke his mind on what any competitive, back-up goalie would be thinking. Simply, he wants to play more.
Comparatively, Rask and Thomas have had fairly even playing time this season as opposed to previous years, yet he still isn’t happy. He doesn’t enjoy living in the shadows of someone else’s limelight and having that be his career. He stated:
“The truth is that I want to play more. I do not want to spend a whole career sitting on the bench,” Rask said to the Finnish sports media through the power of Google translator. “It is felt that even when I have a good game, the next game is on the bench. If I play and have a shutout, it is not enough.”(via Joe Haggerty)
While Rask has proven to be a more stable goalie in between the pipes this season, his last few games haven’t been so hot, sporting an 0-2 with a 4.54 goals against average and .854 save percentage in two games during the month of February.(via Bruins Official Website) We also can’t forget Thomas replacing Rask early on in the second period on Wednesday night against the Sabres in a 6-0 loss.
“He didn’t feel comfortable the other night and I think he told Timmy ‘sorry for putting you in this spot.’ That’s the kind of player he is. That’s Tuukka in a nutshell.”
Coach Claude Julien stated after word had spread of the back-up goaltender’s interview.
“He’s more mature and he’s had a good year. His last few games he hasn’t been on top of his game, but he knows that. I don’t even have to tell him. He knows it,” said Julien. “As a coach you know he’s working on certain things and he wants the extra time. He’s playing more at this time this year than he did last year, but he wants to work hard to stay sharp.”
In a later interview with ESPN Boston, Rask cleared the air with the rumors that circulated around on Friday stating;
“That Google Translate sucks…I said ‘Obviously I don’t want to be sitting on the bench my whole career and I like it here.I think it’s been a good year for me and our team for the most part.”(via NESN.com)
While any Bruins fan can understand the frustration of having close to matching statistics and still being only second best, it doesn’t change the fact that this is the last thing the Bruins need right now. Between political views and frustration with the team, it is no wonder they’re falling into a slump. Each and every personal issue needs to be set aside and kept out of the rink if the Bruins stand a chance at another Championship this year.