SERIES PREVIEW: 2013 Eastern Conference Finals. Special Teams and Tuukka Rask.

We've already covered the forwards and defensemen.

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PENS POWER PLAY

The Pens had a 24.7% during the regular season, and that number has jumped up to 28.3% in the playoffs.

The Bruins' PK, meanwhile, was 4th-best during the regular season at 87.1%, but that number has dropped to 81.1% in the post-season.

PENS PENALTY KILL

The Bruins' PP was a flaccid 14.8% in the regular season, but they're clicking at 21.9% in the playoffs.

The Pens' PK was garbage during the regular season at a sub-80% level, but they're working miracles at an 89.7% rate in the playoffs.

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REGULAR SEASON HEAD-TO-HEAD

Pens PP: 2 for 11, 18.1%

Pens PK: 6 for 8, 75%

HIDDEN STAT

Malkin didn't play in any of the 3 Pens-Bruins games this season.

SO…

The Pens have avoided the dagger that is power-play goals so far in these playoffs. If that trend continues, the Pens should be in good shape.

At the other end of the ice, the Pens' PP is close to being absurd. They used timely powerplay goals to bury both the Islanders and Sens. The Bruins have some big bodies to clear out the crease in front of Tuukka Rask.

Speaking of which…

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http://bloguin.com/puckdrunklove/images/PDLDavid/TuukkaRaskGIF.gif

What did we all learn in the Ottawa series? That the regular-season stats and reputation of a goalie don't mean shit when you're going up against the Pens' offense every night.

We'll throw these numbers on here for fun, though:

RASK REGULAR SEASON

2.00 GAA, .929SV%

RASK PLAYOFFS

2.22 GAA, .928SV%

If you want a quick article from some Boston fanboy journalists, here's one from WEEI. They talk about how Rask has been getting better as the playoffs have progressed, but they forget to mention Rask's humiliating performance in Game 7 of the Leafs series where he had to rely on an unprecedented third-period comeback by the Bruins to get to the next round.

Another thing being ignored is that Rask's save percentage is the worst of the four remaing goaltenders, as his Rask's goals against average. The Penguins broke Craig Anderson and his will to live. Got news for you: Anderson is probably a better goalie than Rask.

This has nothing to do with anything, but we were on Hockey Reference looking at what goalies are comparable to Rask. Here is who it lists:

Jim Carey. LOLOLOLOLOL

The Battle of the "OOOOOOOs"

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-dhsog9jBmnM/UadU5_sFwzI/AAAAAAACNs8/YEGq-0yg3e8/s576/vokoun-seguin_original.jpg

Rask and Vokoun went head-to-head twice this season.
 
Rask's stat line: 2.54GAA, .881SV%
 
Vokoun's stat line: 1.50GAA, .958SV%
Vokoun also was the #1 star in both games.
 
Rask's career numbers against the Pens?
1-4, 2.63GAA, .903SV% — Yikes

ADVANTAGE: PENGUINS

P.S. Here are the goalies comparable to Tomas Vokoun:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uVlAdCv7454/Uah_WkL0wII/AAAAAAACNwc/IBLInlUrGpo/s606/screenshot%25202013-05-31%2520at%25206.44.41%2520AM.png

 

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