The Unfortunate Decline of a Calder-Winning Boston Bruin

Published August 27, 2023 at 2:34

Back in '98, Boston had their eyes on a young talent, Andrew Raycroft, who was selected in the fifth round. For three seasons, Raycroft shuttled between Boston and Providence, honing his skills. The AHL became his playground, tallying 121 games with the Bruins' minor league squad and securing a respectable 56-48-13 record.

But it was the '03-'04 season that changed the game. Raycroft stepped into the spotlight, his standout performance not only shaping his own destiny but also leaving a mark on the Bruins' future.

That particular season showcased Raycroft's rookie brilliance. Given the reins as Boston's starting goalie, he dazzled with a 29-18-9 record, a 2.05 goals-against average, and a .926 save percentage. These numbers stacked up impressively against the likes of Brodeur, Turco, and Kiprusoff.

Working in tandem with fellow rookie Patrice Bergeron, Raycroft played a crucial role in the Bruins clinching the Northeast Division title, setting the stage for a memorable playoff journey. His outstanding performance sparked talks of him winning the Hart and Vezina Trophies, and in the end, he secured the Calder Trophy, recognizing him as the league's best rookie.

However, the '04-'05 NHL Lockout threw a wrench in Raycroft's momentum. After a brief spell in Finland, his struggles continued during the '05-'06 season, resulting in a challenging period marked by an 8-19-2 record and a 3.71 goals-against average. The Bruins were also in the midst of transitions, which saw Raycroft slipping to the third spot in the goalie hierarchy.

The following summer brought more change as Raycroft was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a trade that paved the way for Tuukka Rask to rise as Boston's cornerstone goaltender.

In retrospect, Raycroft's journey with the Bruins was a rollercoaster of triumphs and trials, etching his legacy into the team's history books.

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August 27   |   193 answers
The Unfortunate Decline of a Calder-Winning Boston Bruin

Do you think Raycroft is a top 5 goalie in Bruins history?

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