Boston Bruins: Three keys to success for the 2019-20 season – Causeway Crowd

Posted: October 5, 2019 at 9:45 am

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ANAHEIM, CA FEBRUARY 15: Boston Bruins goalies Jaroslav Halak (41) and Tuukka Rask (40) celebrate on the ice after the Bruins defeated the Anaheim Ducks 3 to 0 in a game played on February 15, 2019 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins were one of the best teams in the NHL last season. They finished the regular season with a record of 49-24-9, good for 107 points and third overall in league standings.

With many of the same players returning for the 2019-20 season, the Bruins are in position for another strong campaign, but theyll need a few things to go right for them.

Jaroslav Halak was a pleasant surprise in net for the Bruins last season. There was no doubt that he would be a solid option to backup Tuukka Rask, but Halak surpassed all expectations that were had for him.

In fact, his play throughout the regular season can be viewed as a big reason why Rask played as well as he did in the playoffs. Halak started 37 games and finished the season with a 22-11-4 record and .922 save percentage.

Rask struggled early on last season, and it was announced early in November that he would be taking a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. In the end, Rask was only away from the team for three days but that proved to be valuable for him, and the team.

Whatever happened during that time away was enough to get Rask back on track, and those struggles early in the season allowed the Bruins to really see what they had in Halak. Prior to his time away, Rask had a 3.05 goals-against average and .901 save percentage but went on to finish the season with a 2.48 GAA and .912 save percentage.

The 45 games that Rask started last season is the lowest number for him since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, finishing with a record of 27-13-5. The reduced workload clearly paid off in the end, as Rask was lights out throughout the playoffs with a .934 SV% and 2.02 GAA.

With many of the same players from last year still on the roster for the Bruins, another long playoff run seems like a strong possibility.

If Halak is able to put together a repeat performance of last season, the Bruins should once again split the regular season work between both of their goalies to allow for a well-rested Rask going into the postseason.

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Boston Bruins: Three keys to success for the 2019-20 season - Causeway Crowd

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October 5th, 2019 at 9:45 am