Boston Bruins: It’s time for Khudobin to take over in net

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 19: Anton Khudobin
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 19: Anton Khudobin /

Anton Khudobin has been consistent and productive for Bruce Cassidy in his first full season as head coach of the Boston Bruins.  Is it time to slot Dobby in at number 1 between the pipes?

The Boston Bruins are heading into their 4th straight away game tonight against the New Jersey Devils, and there is still no word on who will be the starting goaltender.  However, head coach Bruce Cassidy and current number one goalie Tuukka Rask made statements about Khudobin’s solid performance and starts in net.

"“I would have done the same thing if I was the coach,” Rask said, regarding Khudobin drawing back-to-back starts. “Doby played a heck of a game. The results have been there. I haven’t been able to get wins in the past three starts. So it’s understandable.”"

“Tuukka gets it,” Cassidy added. “Anton has played well.”

Clearly the 2017-2018 season for Tuukka has been a complete disaster overall. The inconsistency and lack of work ethic has been noticeable for games now. Tuukka addressed his performance and assured the fans he is trying.

"“Obviously, we look at every game whether it’s a win or loss and take the positives and learn from the negatives,” Rask said. “My effort or my game, it hasn’t been any different from the past. It’s just been tough bounces for the most part, but as I’ve said before, it’s a game of results and if you don’t get them, then you have to try to figure something out.”"

Tuukka better figure something out fast because his time as the Bruins go-to-guy may be dwindling.

Is it time to make the switch for real?

Head coach Bruce Cassidy said on Monday that “we’re contemplating” starting Khudobin for the third straight game on Wednesday. Khudobin as a “back-up” now has impressive 2017-18 numbers, including a  5-0-2 record with a 2.17 goals against average and .935 saves percentage.  The “starter,” in Rask, by contrast, is 3-7-2, 2.89 GAA, .897 save percentage, with three straight losses.

"“We haven’t made our decision (about Wednesday) yet, so that tells you that we want to make sure we balance it right,” Cassidy said. “But listen, (Khudobin’s) got a hot hand.”"

Boston Bruins
SAN JOSE, CA – NOVEMBER 18: Anton Khudobin /

Cassidy, Rask, and even Khudobin are taking the situation in stride because none feel that Rask, the Bruins’ No. 1 goalie for the past five seasons, has gone cold. However when you look at the numbers you start to question his abilities have gone missing.

"″(Rask’s) numbers are what they are,” Cassidy said, “but I think … what we’re missing, it seems, in some of the games with Tuukka, is we need to make one more play to score a goal, or he needs to make one extra big save.”"

Next: Bruins in the mix for any awards?

It’s true that numbers are what they are, and these numbers don’t like.  This does raise an eyebrow to wonder if this young team feels more confident with Khudobin between the pipes, hence the better team performance. The Boston Bruins faceoff against the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night at 7:00pm ET, more than likely with Khudobin in net it seems.