|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
Backup goaltender Manny Fernandez skated before the game but still felt discomfort in his back, so he was not going to be able to play Saturday afternoon against the Rangers. Tim Thomas has played an awful lot lately, and at the risk of being overextended, Claude Julien sat his goaltender against the Rangers. So, who was left to start?
In comes Tuukka Rask from Providence to play in net for the first time since Dec. 6, 2007 (I’ve had two birthdays since then). He has shown some signs over the last two seasons, and will probably become a capable goaltender one day. He looked more than capable against the Rangers Saturday afternoon, stopping 35 shots in a 1-0 Bruins win for his first NHL shutout in just his fourth career start.
Rask was remarkable in net, but the shutout wouldn’t have been possible were it not for the effort of Marc Savard. The All-Star knocked in a slap shot from Dennis Wideman with just 22.2 seconds left in the second period. Rask then turned it up a notch and turned away 15 New York shots in the third period.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 6-0-3 against the Atlantic Division and 29-5-5 against the Eastern Conference overall. Pretty damn good.
The Bruins next play Sunday afternoon against the archrival Canadiens.