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May 7, 2014

It's all on Tuukka

The Boston Bruins are in a bit of trouble now. A few defensive breakdowns, a few breakaways, and a few easy goals were too much for the Comeback Kids to overcome.

The Bruins aren’t playing their best. David Krejci is OK as a setup man but still hasn’t scored a goal in eight playoff games. Other than his talent for tipping pucks, Jarome Iginla is a little less than OK, a non-factor. And not one other Bruin, outside of five-foot-nothing Torey Krug, has consistently put pressure on the Montreal Canadiens defense.

But other than that, the Bruins aren’t playing badly either. They are getting opportunities. They are the carrying the play. They are defending relatively well. And, quite frankly, they are the better team and playing well enough to be ahead 2-1 rather than reverse that.

It all comes down to dad ... a k a Tuukka Rask ... who left his A-game in the opening series with Detroit, when he was probably playing the best hockey of any player still suited up.

The fact that a defenseman (P.K. Subban), albeit an offensive one, made him look foolish on the first breakaway, and a fourth line forward (Dale Weise) did the same thing firing his breakaway shot through his legs, is disconcerting. Rask has to stop one of them. Just one. If he does, the game goes to overtime and maybe the Bruins continued their third period dominance and pull it out.

While he’s had some things on his mind -- his girlfriend gave birth to their daughter on Friday -- Rask is well versed in May and June hockey. He has been among the very best, of all-time, in his short career when the chips are down.

He has allowed three goals in each of the first three games. While that might not sound like a lot, in Boston, in May and June, that’s too much.

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