Niklas Svedberg leaves the Boston Bruins for the KHL.

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Today it was announced that Boston Bruins backup goaltender Niklas Svedberg signed a one year deal to play in Russia. He will be playing for team Salavat in the Continental Hockey League.

Well, this just adds one more problem to the Bruins current troubles.  They’ll have to add back-up goaltender to the list of things they’ll need to address once they get a new general manager installed. Now the Bruins will have to decide if Jeremy Smith or Malcolm Subban will be ready to take over as the number two man in Boston.

Svedberg’s numbers were equal to Tuukka Rask‘s this year. Svedberg’s goals against average was 2.33, while Rask’s was 2.30. Svedberg’s save percentage was .918, a percentage that was better than many back-up goaltenders in the National Hockey League. (Rask’s was .922)

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Svedberg had the numbers to compete with the Bruins. There were too many factors in deciding why Svedberg got so little play time this season. First, the Bruins needed Tuukka Rask to play up to his seven million dollar contract. Also, Svedberg was one of the players that seemed to not have the full confidence o the Bruins front office.  Like Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak, Claude Julien chose not to play the young Swede in order to favor his veterans.

This is becoming a bad trend for the Black and Gold. Anton Khudobin was the first number two goaltender to seek out his fortune in free agency, Chad Johnson followed him out the door after just one season in Boston. Now, it’s Niklas Svedberg’s turn. The Bruins have chosen to keep easily replaceable players and in doing so giving up players that could have made a mark at the TD Garden.

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  • So, will Jeremy Smith and/or Malcolm Subban be ready come September? They’ve got no choice now. The Bruins are going to have to hope that one or both of them will be ready to take up the slack. The Bruins almost wore out Tuukka Rask this season, and repeating that performance will be disastrous as the Bruins attempt to banish the ghost of last season’s failure.

    Malcolm Subban was tested once last season in Boston. He was called up to take on the St. Louis Blues when the Bruins were going through one of their rough patches. He had a solid first period, stopping the three shots on net. Then the second period began, and it all fell apart for Subban. He allowed the next three shots on goal and was pulled for Rask in a rough 5-1 defeat. He ended up with a .500 save percentage and a 5.61 goals against average for that game.

    “There’s no excuses,” said Subban of his performance back in Februart. “You’ve got to stop the puck. I didn’t really give myself a chance to make the saves.”

    Now they Bruins will have to make a little more magic happen in the off-season.

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