Boston Bruins: Jonas Gustavsson To Make First Bruins Start


Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

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The Boston Bruins are giving Tuukka Rask the night off. After losing three straight games and posting a 4.72 Goals Against Average, the Bruins franchise goaltender will be sitting on the bench backing up recently-signed veteran goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. Tuukka Rask should be back to his normal elite play soon enough, but Jonas Gustavsson will definitely make the most of this game to show the Bruins that they were correct in signing him to be their backup.

Jonas Gustavsson won the backup goaltender competition out of training camp, narrowly edging Jeremy Smith. The six-foot-four, 212 pound Swede was signed to a PTO with the Bruins at the time, and clearly showed that he was the best-fit for the backup job behind Tuukka Rask for the 2015-16 season. After playing in three seasons with Detroit and posting a 21-10-6 record across his 41 games, Gustavsson has showed he can be a very reliable goaltender in this league. Claude Julien stated that he intended on starting Gustavsson in this game regardless of how the previous games turned out, and said that he was sticking with his decision.

Gustavsson has the experience that the Bruins covet in a backup goaltender, as the veteran goaltender has played in a total of 148 NHL games. In that time, he has posted a record of 60-55-21 with a goals against average of 2.89 and a save percentage of .901. The numbers don’t exactly jump off the page, but as a backup, the Bruins can certainly do worse, and after last season, Gustavsson seems like a pretty good option.

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  • The Bruins are coming off of a season in which Niklas Svedberg was their backup, and he didn’t garner much trust from head coach Claude Julien after posting less-than-satisfactory results and consistency. Svedberg wasn’t necessarily a bad goaltender, but he clearly wasn’t able to help the Bruins in the way they needed, as Claude Julien started Tuukka Rask in 70 contests last season.

    The Bruins will be taking on the Colorado Avalanche who have gone 1-1 to start the season. Familiar faces will be seen in the game as well, as former-Bruins Jarome Iginla and Carl Soderberg will be playing tonight for the Avalanche. The Bruins can’t spend too much time focusing on pleasantries before the game however, as they need to find a way to get their season on the right track.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports

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