The Boston Bruins have come into the 2013-14 preseason with most of their roster already settled, with the main competition actually taking place between the pipes. Although Tuukka Rask is a lock to be the starter, obviously, there is still the matter of his backup to be decided.
After Anton Khudobin left in free agency, the Bruins found themselves with a vacancy on the bench in the no. 2 goaltender’s spot. They came into training camp and the preseason with the likes of Chad Johnson and Niklas Svedberg battling for the spot.
Neither one has much of anything in terms of experience, and Svedberg hasn’t even appeared in a game beyond the AHL level. Which leads to the question of whether or not the Bruins may run the risk of overworking Rask, if they cannot get steady goaltending out of whoever wins the backup job.
The reason for concern here is the Olympics. Teams have already come right out and said that their backups will get more work, if they boast an Olympic caliber goalie on their squad, as to alleviate some of the extra work they’ll get during the break next February.
Will the Bruins have that luxury with Rask? He’s no lock to grab a goaltending spot for Finland, but one has to think that he’s an easy favorite for the job after the season he had last year, though he’s up against some stiff competition. In the event that he does take one of the spots, backup goaltending becomes crucial.
Johnson did some good things in Phoenix last year, albeit in extremely limited action. Svedberg has virtually no experience, beyond this year’s preseason. The Bruins will need one of them to step up and adjust quickly, or run the risk of potentially overworking Tuukka Rask by the time this year’s postseason rolls around.