When the Boston Bruins signed veteran goalie Jaroslav Halak during the summer, the motivation behind the move was to not only provide the team with a quality backup netminder, but also to find someone who could push starter Tuukka Rask.
Well, Halak sure has pushed Rask, so much, that he has yet again landed on top of him. On Wednesday, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy made it official that Halak will get the start on Thursday as Boston faces the Vancouver Canucks.
After Halak's win over the Philadelphia Flyers last Thursday, Cassidy revealed to media members that there's nothing that will hold Halak back from starting more games for the Bruins.
"We told Jaro, 'Listen if you come in and play we’re not going to limit your starts,'" said Cassidy. "We’ll allow the competition to evolve, and he’s done a real good job."
"We do that at the start of the year for – we’ve done it here for years and just to work Tuukka’s [Rask] starts in because he’s been the number one," Cassidy continued. "But if Jaro’s able to push him and if and eventually take the job if and when that happens then we’ll look at that. We’re going to try to keep it as balanced as possible early on, and then like we said if one separates himself from the other like every other position here then we’ll allow that to evolve."
We have proof again today as another start has been announced for Halak, who also faced the Carolina Hurricanes in a victory again after that, and started in net against the Nashville Predators over the weekend.
And even Rask agrees.. After starting in Monday’s win over the Dallas Stars after two games on the bench, Rask readily admitted the Bruins needed to ride Halak.
“The schedule hasn’t been crazy and Jaro has played unbelievable, that’s how it goes,” Rask said, via a team-provided transcript. “If you’re a hot goalie like that, then you got to let him play, I totally get it, it hasn’t affected me mentally really that much. You just try to practice hard and feel that rhythm and feel the puck in practices, when you’re playing try to put your best out there and get the wins. It’s going to be a busy week this week, so I think both of us are going to see a lot of action so go day by day, just practice hard when asked to.”
Halak surely deserves this one.
Photo Credit: Zuma Press