Thomas/By S. Bradley

Now that the Bruins have passed the halfway point of their season, it’s time to grade each player before they officially start their second half at home against Ottawa tonight.

Here were are more than a week since Tuukka Rask was pulled in Buffalo, and all the bellyaching over Claude Julien’s juggling of his goaltenders seems like a big waste of energy.

Sure, had Rask been kept sharper he might not have had to hit the pine after one period of play against the Sabres. However, it’s up to any goaltender to keep himself ready, too. Rask, with that one exception, has done that job and both goaltenders have spent this season playing their own game of “can you top this.”

That’s why the Bruins have the best goaltending tandem in the league and continue to lead the league in goals against.

Here’s a look at my grades:

Tim Thomas
First quarter grade: A
Midseason grade: A-minus

Thomas’ only problem is that he set such a high standard in the first quarter, it’s hard to maintain that level throughout the entire season. He still leads the league in save percentage (.944) and goals-against average (1.84), but has shown signs he’s vincible lately with at least three goals allowed in four of his last seven outings. He’s still the favorite for the Vezina Trophy though.

Tuukka Rask
First quarter grade: A-minus
Midseason grade: A-minus

Considering this is his first taste of serving as a No. 2 in the NHL and he hasn’t done the role in his career for a number of years, Rask has made the most of his limited time. The Buffalo game aside, he has allowed two or fewer goals in four of his last five appearances. His .957 save percentage and 2.53 GAA are both better than the league average. And if he’s at all disappointed with the way his playing time has been handled by Julien, he has done a great job of keeping it to himself.