Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask didn't have the greatest end to 2013. Pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots to the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 28, Rask took the loss Tuesday against the New York Islanders after allowing five goals on 31 shots.
Despite those sub-par efforts, Rask isn't quite ready to say he's slumping.
"Did you see those goals [against Ottawa]? Yeah I didn’t blame myself for that game. I wasn’t even supposed to play that game," he said, via CSNNE's Joe Haggerty. "I totally forgot about that game and then tried to regroup today. So I wouldn’t say I’m in a slump. You think so? Sure."
It should be noted that the Bruins were playing without stalwart defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg against Ottawa, and, as Rask alluded to, it's widely believed that AHL call-up Niklas Svedberg was in line to make that start before injuries on the blue line necessitated reinforcements from the AHL.
Overall, Rask's numbers remain strong: he leads the NHL with four shutouts, and he has posted a .932 save percentage and a 1.99 goals against average to go along with a record of 20-9-2.
However, as the midpoint of the season nears, Rask is already approaching his career-high in starts in a season (39); without the luxury of having a 1B option in net as in past seasons, he'll be called upon to continue to carry the lion's share of the load for Boston as the season continues.