WILMINGTON, Mass. — Through eight games, the Bruins have started Tim Thomas six times and Tuukka Rask twice.
That’s not the type of pace that would grant Rask a bigger role by the end of the year if the Bruins stuck to that 2-to-1 ratio. It also doesn’t quite jibe with what the Bruins said they’re plan was for the goaltending split during training camp.
In my CBS Boston column today, I discussed the Bruins’ need to get Rask more starts not just for this season’s benefit but for the good of the organization in the years ahead. Today after practice at Ristuccia Arena, Bruins head coach Claude Julien was asked about his goaltending plans.
“All I know is we have a plan to use Tuukka more this year. So that’s certainly not a judgment that has to be made after a month of the season,” said the coach. “At the end of the year, let’s look at how many games Tuukka will have played and then figure out whether we followed our plan or not. But right now, when you’ve got three or four days off, I don’t think a guy that led us to the Stanley Cup [Thomas] is really tired. … As you look at the schedule in the second half, we talked about it becoming heavier, this is where Tuukka’s really going to have to step up and help us out. But he’s still going to see some game time, but I don’t think I would judge how we said we’d use him or whatever with a month into the season with this kind of schedule.”
So Julien is obviously looking ahead to what will be practically a game-every-two-night pace from Thursday through almost Christmas as a time Rask will come into play more. Hopefully for the Bruins, Rask stays sharp enough before his workload increases to handle the games when he’s thrown into them.