If all accounts on the social media sites are accurate, then it looks like Anton Khudobin will get the start for the Boston Bruins tonight. He was also the first goalie off the ice for this morning’s skate, and that’s usually a good sign of being the starting goaltender. Tonight will be the third pairing between the Boston Bruins (8-1-2) and the Buffalo Sabres (5-8-1). Khudobin has been one of the genuine nice surprises that has come out of this lockout abbreviated season. Last season he only played in a single NHL game for the Bruins where he made an impressive forty five saves in a win against the Ottawa Senators.
Personally, I like what Khudobin has brought to the organization. He was a solid player in Providence and I got to see him play a few games there. He was also the ‘winning’ goaltender in the Bruins-v-Bruins scrimmage. He’s won both games that he has been in, and has a respectable .931 save average. I think we were all a little worried about our crease police situation after the departure of the legendary (or infamous) Tim Thomas. He is proving to be as a reliable backup for Rask as Rask was for Thomas.
I don’t usually disagree with Claude Julien‘s actions. He’s gotten us into the playoffs every year since he got here, and he was the coach that put all the players together to make magic happen on June 15, 2011. He’s third on the all time list for Bruins coaches (and climbing) , and he will very likely end up in the Hall of Fame. He has a lifetime of dedication to the sport and has made us all Believe in Boston. With all due respect to Coach Julien, I think the wrong goaltender is minding the net tonight.
I think that Tuukka Rask should have gotten the start tonight. Granted, Khudobin has faced the Sabres before and let only one goal through in their 3-1 win over Buffalo. He’s the proven quantity that will worry the Sabres. (As long as the Bruins defense remind themselves constantly not to give Thomas Vanek a single inch.) I think (in my humble opinion) that Tuukka needed to exorcise the blue and gold demon. Of those seven goals, most of them were not Tuukka’s fault. The defense was having an unusually bad night, and Vanek had our number.
I wish all the best for the Black and Gold as they work to go up two games to one in their series with the Bruins. The tip off is at 7pm, and will be broadcasted on NESN. For those who can’t get to the TV, it will be broadcasted on 98.5 The Sports Hub.