Boston Bruins: Still A Coin Toss For Backup Goaltender Job


Jonas Gustavsson had a chance to win the backup goaltender for the Boston Bruins last night. Gustavsson stopped 24 of 27 shots(.889 save %) for the B’s in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers. Of the three goals scored on him, one was an unlucky bounce of Zach Trotman‘s skate, and another was caused by a very effective screen by the Rangers. That three goal, sub-.900 performance means it’s still a two-man race for the job between the 31-year old veteran Swede, and 26-year old Jeremy Smith.

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Claude Julien was asked about Gustavsson’s play last night, and for the most part the Bruins bench boss was pleased with the veteran netminder’s performance.

“He was good tonight,” said the Bruins bench boss of Gustavsson’s play after the game. “When I looked at the first goal, he’s got two Rangers out in front of him and it goes through. He can’t see much. The other goal at the end, the break down with the pull and drag, with the third goal there – I don’t think he had much of an opportunity. I thought he played pretty well.”

“I thought he played pretty well. We dominated in the shot department, but he had to make some big saves. He was good. Again, the same thing I said about Smitty — [Gustavsson] battled back, and I thought he got better during the game.

“So we’ve got some tough decisions to make, here, between those two guys.”

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  • Gustavsson’s loss was hardly of his own making. Once again, the Bruins fielded a bubble team of players who were on the fence of making the Boston roster. The B’s still have to decide who will be sent back to juniors or Providence. Still, the rookie team had an adequate performance against a mostly NHL Ranger team, especially in the first half of the game. In the end though, the young defensemen were once again outclassed by an experienced group of players, and defensive breakdowns were the biggest problem on the ice last night.

    While Gustavsson would love to play in Boston, he knows that he’s done his best and everything else is currently out of his hands.

    “I mean, you can always do better,” said Gustavsson postgame. “That’s the mentality I have, at least. That’s what drives me and makes me want to get better.”

    “It’s not up to me to make those decisions,” Gustavsson said. “I’m just trying to do whatever I can out there when I get the chance. That’s all I can do. So far, I feel like I’ve been trying to prepare myself as good as possible for practices and games, and that’s all I can do.”

    Tuukka Rask is expected to play the last preseason game for the B’s, when they head to D.C. to take on the Washington Capitals.  For now, the answer to who will back him up this season is still a coin toss. (Smart money would be on Gustavsson at the moment.) The decision of the goaltending job could be made as soon as later this morning, and it won’t be an easy one for the Boston Bruins.

    Next: Will Jonas Gustavsson Win The Goaltending Job?

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