NHL Predictions 2011-12: Boston Bruins Tuukka Rask Will Not Be a Small Backup

Brian RoachCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2011

MONTREAL, CANADA - MARCH 8:  Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins watches the puck go towards the net during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on March 8, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Canadiens defeated the Bruins 4-1.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Boston Bruins' backup goalie, Tuukka Rask, will have to step up big in the 2011-12 season to make sure that starting goalie, Tim Thomas, does not get fatigued.

In 29 games started last season, Rask had a mere 2.67 goals against average, but had an 11-14 record. If he got more playing time, I am sure that he would have been more productive as the backup goaltender.

Thomas is now 37 and the more rest he gets during the regular season, than the more productive he will be throughout the regular season and the playoffs.

Rask needs to be used more by Claude Julien.

Reported by ESPNBoston.com, “That’s not a secret, and [I] don’t plan on making that a secret,” Julien said. “Tim is a great goaltender, but Tim is a goaltender that understands too that he can’t play 70-plus games in the season, the regular season. He’s had a long playoffs and I think Tim is going to be just as happy as we are to have Tuukka here and playing some of his best hockey.”

This is Rask's year to be a big part of the Bruins game. He should play almost 35 games or so to be a huge factor of this coming season. If he remains healthy and can help out Thomas, then the Bruins will have one of their best one-two punches for goalies in the NHL for the 2011-12 season.