As a result of Tim Thomas' sabbatical, Tuukka Rask is set to inherit the starting role in Boston's crease. Over three seasons in Boston, Rask has proven that he is capable of being an elite starting goalie. But now that Thomas has left the building, who takes over the Bruins' net if Rask goes down long term?
Rask last claimed the Bruins starting role in 2009-10, before Tim Thomas' Vezina Trophy and Stanley Cup-winning renaissance the following year. Starting 45 games in 2009-10, Rask lead the NHL in goals against average and save percentage.
For the past two seasons, Rask has played well behind Thomas, averaging a solid 2.36 goals against per game while saving 92.35 percent of shots.
Rask is currently spending the lockout with HC Plzen, who are currently atop the Czech Extraliga standings. In that time, he has been nothing short of spectacular. He is 10-2 in 12 starts and leads the league with a 1.75 goals against average.
The Bruins should thrive so long as Rask stays healthy. However, he missed the final six weeks of last season due to a groin injury and suffered a minor groin tweak in October while playing in the Czech Republic. If injury strikes again, the Bruins will need to find a viable goalie, or risk wasting a great opportunity to win another Stanley Cup.