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Photography by Scott Slingsby Story by Kevin Woodley

Tuukka Rask’s retirement after struggling to come back from offseason hip surgery sparked an inevitable debate about whether the long-time Boston Bruins No.1 was Hockey Hall of Fame worthy. While we’d hoped the 34-year-old would get a few more seasons to build his case, especially since Bruins goalie coach Bob Essensa agreed with our assessment two seasons ago that Rask was playing the best goal of his career in his early 30s, the vote here is still yes.

Beyond winning the Vezina Trophy in 2014, Rask backstopped Boston to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 and 2019 after winning his lone Cup as backup to Tim Thomas in 2011. Sure, Rask’s 308 NHL wins ranks 33rd, a somewhat pedestrian total that comes from starting his career behind the incredible Thomas and ending it early. But Rask was a first team NHL All-Star once, and a second-team selection one other time, and perhaps the most compelling argument is a .921 save percentage that ranks third all-time behind only Domink Hasek (.9223), Johnny Bower (.9219) and Ken Dryden (.9215), heady company and all members of the Hall of Fame.

Only time will tell whether the Hall of Fame selection committee sees it the same way when Rask becomes eligible in three years but in the meantime, we wanted to celebrate the things that made Rask so good — and in many ways, so unique — by re-visiting a style breakdown InGoal Magazine did after he won that Vezina Trophy almost eight years ago. Published in our old page-turning digital magazine format at the time, it might be the deepest dive on the style elements that separate the smooth-moving Finnish star, and a worth celebration of an incredible career that we hope ends with enshrinement in the Hall of Fame:

Tuukka Rask ensured his place in goaltending history by winning the Vezina Trophy in 2013-14, and is carving out a career that could arguably land him in conversations among the all-time greats.

Rask has posted a .928 save percentage through parts of seven NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins. That is the best career number of any goalie to play more than 100 games, six points higher than the .922 that made Dominik Hasek a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and eight better than New York Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist, who is heralded as the most consistent, if not also the best, of his generation.  

So is Rask better than Hasek and Lundqvist?

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