Bruins

Could Bruins start both Tuukka Rask & Jaroslav Halak during playoff action up in Toronto?

(Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

In most NHLs campaigns, the thought of spelling a Vezina Trophy finalist during the Stanley Cup Playoffs would be viewed as lunacy.

Granted, 2020 shouldn’t fall under the same conditions as most campaigns.

And as such, Tuukka Rask isn’t expecting to be the man between the pipes for every minute of Boston’s frantic and frenzied Cup run-up in Canada. 

"I'd be surprised if you see goalies play every minute of every game during these playoffs because the situation is so different," Rask said via Zoom Friday. "But I'm looking forward to it. You never know, but I guess we'll see what happens. We've had the luxury of having a couple good goalies the last few seasons, so I feel like we're in a good spot."

Now, granted, the Bruins are in a pretty good spot when it comes to depth in net, with Rask and Jaroslav Halak standing as arguably the most dominant tandem in the league.

Still, barring severe dips in performance, it’s rare to see any club opt for anyone other than its top option in net to carry it through a grueling playoff slate.

Even with Halak’s stellar numbers in 2018-19 (40 games played, .922 save percentage, .868 high-danger save percentage), the veteran logged exactly zero minutes during Boston’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.

Of course, Boston had few objections to such a one-sided goalie rotation during the postseason considering Rask was all but a lock to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy (15-9-0, .934 save percentage) had Boston’s fortunes been reversed in Game 7 against St. Louis.

Still, given the accelerated ramp-up, loaded schedule and player-centric uncertainties given the extended break between game action — Rask believes the window could be there for a team to grant regular minutes to a pair of netminders throughout this revamped playoff slate.