The Boston Bruins are going to miss Anton Khudobin. After losing the free agent to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins’ backup goalie situation had been unclear, however, given the fact that Khudobin signed a one year contract worth $800,000, it’s my opinion that the Bruins will miss Khudobin more than they thought.
Khudobin has only played 21 career NHL games and over the span, has posted a .933 save percentage and a 2.03 goals against average. The Bruins have selected Chad Johnson as their backup goalie, and while he has not played this season, he has big skates to fill. Khudobin was solid and reminded me a lot more of Tuukka Rask, which gave the Bruins some stability at the position. Unlike two years ago when Tim Thomas and Rask were splitting time together, it was night and day in playing styles. Thomas would be flopping around and handling the puck poorly one game, and the next game Rask was supplying everything that Thomas didn’t; that plays an important role in the team’s psyche, especially a team loaded with young defenseman.
Knowing what your goaltender is going to do allows you to anticipate and play more comfortably within yourself. Johnson is going to offer some different challenges this year. The Bruins should have pushed a little harder to get Khudobin back in a Bruins jersey, if only for one year. From Khudobin’s perspective, the move makes perfect sense. Cam Ward is getting older and spent some time on the disabled list last year. If he is going to make a push for a No. 1 spot in the league, it’s best to do it on a team where you’re going to see the most playing time and where they may be looking to lock you up long term.
Tony is a Bruins columnist for rantsports.com you can follow him on twitter @tonytboson