He stood alone Sunday night, constantly turning back opposing onslaughts and nearly single-handedly giving his team a chance to win. He’s been doing it all season, and since he first arrived in Boston as an unheralded rookie.

While the baseball world debates the definition of “value” before handing out it’s MVP Award this week, you could make a pretty good case that this player is the most valuable player in Boston. Without him, his team has no chance of making a playoff run.

I’m not talking about Tom Brady, who remains incredibly important to the Patriots and will be in the MVP discussion despite missing the first four games of the NFL season.

While most of us spent Sunday night focused on what was happening at Gillette Stadium, Tuukka Rask was backstopping the Bruins to their 10th win of the year in Colorado. He stopped 21 shots in the 2-0 win, posting his third shutout of the season and 33rd of his career.

It wasn’t exactly an avalanche of offense aimed in Rask’s direction, but each save was critical as the Bruins were unable to give him much offensive support. David Krejci scored in the first period, and the 1-0 lead held until Dominic Moore iced the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

That’s the way it’s been for Rask and the Bruins this season. The offense hasn’t found its footing yet and is averaging just 2.5 goals a game – 20th in the NHL. But with a defensive core that was considered suspect heading into the season, the Bruins are giving up 2.38 goals per game, ninth best in the league.

Those numbers change dramatically with Rask in net. His 1.54 goals-against average is third best in the league, and no goalie has more shutouts.

And no goalie has won more games than Rask. In this age of advanced analytics, we have devalued wins as a measurement of individual success. Hockey goalies and baseball pitchers are judged by more in-depth metrics. Yet the point of the game is still to win, and the simple mathematical truth is that the Bruins haven’t had a chance when Rask isn’t playing.

With Rask, Boston is 10-1. Without him, it is 0-5. I challenge you to find a statistic that says he isn’t the team’s most valuable player.

Or the city’s. While the Bruins have a lot of work ahead of them, they have attacked November like the playoffs are right around the corner. And, in some ways, they are. Historically, teams that aren’t within two points of a playoff spot at the end of Thanksgiving weekend have about a 10 percent chance of making the postseason.

That’s why Rask, who missed time early in the season because of an injury, played back-to-back road games over the weekend. Coach Claude Julien knows his team can’t fall too far behind the pack, even this early in the season. It happened last year, and his team never recovered.

After winning both weekend games, Boston moved back up to second place in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. The season is about 20 percent over – still early, but not too early to fall out of the playoff race.

Rask won’t let the Bruins do that. He continues to stand strong in front of Boston’s net, reminding us that his value in this city’s sports landscape might be unmatched.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.