Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Goalies Crawford, Rask get shot at Cup

CHICAGO — Corey Crawford was in the stands when Patrick Kane's overtime goal secured the Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks in 2010. A year later, Tuukka Rask was a practice player when Tim Thomas led the Bruins to the title.

Tonight, they will be in net when the Blackhawks host the Bruins in Game 1 of the Cup final.

"Once you've seen it and not being on the ice, I think everybody would like to have that chance someday," Rask said. "I'm just trying to make the most out of it and enjoy myself."

The rise of Rask and Crawford is a testament to the patience and steady approach of the Bruins and Blackhawks. And it's no coincidence each seeks to become the first with two Stanley Cups in the salary cap era.

Rask, 26, was a first-round selection (21st overall) by Toronto in 2005. Boston got him in a trade for goalie Andrew Raycroft a year later.

Rask took over this season, after Thomas decided to take a year off. Once the Finn got off to a great start, the rights to Thomas were traded to the Islanders.

The 6-foot-2 Rask helped the Bruins finish second in the Northeast then raised his game to another level in the playoffs. He shut down high-scoring Pittsburgh in the East final, allowing just two goals and recording a .985 save percentage in a sweep.

"He's just, I think, fundamentally a good goalie," Boston defenseman Andrew Ference said. "As far as positioning and his style, he has a very consistent style. So he doesn't really get himself into too many bad situations."

Antti Niemi, another Finnish goalie who is good friends with Rask, was in net when the Blackhawks won the title in 2010. But he signed with San Jose in the ensuing offseason while Chicago worked through salary cap issues.

The Blackhawks signed Marty Turco to start and planned to have Crawford, a second-round pick in 2003, back him up. Those plans eventually fell apart, and the 6-2 Crawford earned the starting nod. He won at least 30 games in each of his first two seasons in a regular role then went 19-5 with a career-best 1.94 goals-against average this year.

"He's had a lot to overcome," Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "Whether it's been fighting for position, fighting for jobs, I think he's kept his composure."

With Crawford, 28, the Blackhawks lost in the first round in each of the previous two seasons.

"I'd say I learned a lot, especially some of the goals I gave up last year I wasn't very happy with," Crawford said. "Just able to learn from that. Get over it, and move on. No matter what happens, there's always a next shot.

"So you have to make sure you're there to save the next one."

Stanley Cup final

BLACKHAWKS vs. Bruins

Tonight: at Chicago, 8, Ch. 8

Saturday: at Chicago, 8, NBCSN

Monday: at Boston, 8, NBCSN

June 19: at Boston, 8, Ch. 8

June 22: at Chicago, 8, Ch. 8 *

June 24: at Boston, 8, Ch. 8 *

June 26: at Chicago, 8, Ch. 8 *

* If necessary

Goalies Crawford, Rask get shot at Cup 06/11/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 9:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  5. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Derek Norris, right, celebrates with Logan Morrison as he scores in what could be his last game with the Rays.