So it occurred to me a while ago that this year there’s a seeming huge influx of rookie goalies, or goalies who’d logged fewer than 10 regular season NHL games. While some teams chose to go with two veteran goaltenders (See: the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, et. al), many teams have chosen to give the backup slot to a kid, a goaltender who hasn’t seen a lot of time. These teams are taking different approaches, as well; some are just throwing the newbie into a tandem spot, logging just as many games as the veteran they’re working with, and some are being more cautious, limiting their backup’s playing time, easing him in.
So let’s do a little analysis here on the four biggest rookies out of the gate in goal this season so far.
Name: Tuukka Rask
Team: Boston Bruins
Former Team: Providence Bruins
NHL games played so far this season: 8
Fun Fact: I mean, have you HEARD about MilkCrateGate? Come on.
Analysis: Rask is shining in a season where the Bruins were out two of their star players for the first quarter-season. The team has given him a little more than a third of the games so far – not overworking him in his rookie season, but definitely not coddling him either. He’s been a good solid backup for Tim Thomas and should continue to do so as the season goes on. Rask has also already logged two shutouts and his first NHL point, an assist against Buffalo on 11/20/09.