Goalie Malcolm Subban was forced from the net Tuesday night after allowing three goals against the Minnesota Wild, further complicating the Boston Bruins’ goalie issues. Injuries to first and second goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin have left the team with questions as to who will play for the team on Wednesday night.
Boston Bruins Face Major Goalie Issues
The organization called up Subban from the AHL‘s Providence Bruins on Monday, then had to recall Zane McIntyre, who had initially been sent back after backing up Khudobin in Boston’s 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Khudobin will miss 2 to 3 weeks with an apparent arm injury from team practice on Monday.
Subban made eight saves through the first period, keeping the game scoreless. Things went downhill, however, in the second, where he let in goals from Charlie Coyle, Chris Stewart, and Ryan Suter before being replaced by McIntyre.
Zane McIntyre now in goal for #NHLBruins. This is his first NHL action.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 26, 2016
McIntyre, who made his NHL debut in this game, stopped 15 of 17 shots he faced. He allowed a tip-in from Jason Zucker in the second period and a questionable goal from Jason Pominville late in the third.
Boston’s first-string goalie Tuukka Rask is day-to-day with a lower body injury and has not practiced in almost a week. While he is not out for the long haul, it is not anticipated that he will be available to play against the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
The Best Solution
So, what’s the best solution here? It’s really hard to tell. The three goals that Subban let in during the second period against the Wild were not all easily preventable- the first was an obvious screen by teammate Adam McQuaid, the second had no defensive support, and the third was due to a successful faceoff win for the Wild, who were on the power play. Given these circumstances, it is difficult to determine if Subban’s poor performance was due to a lack of skill or simply bad luck. It can also be argued that he may have performed better behind more astute defensive play, which has been the case with the team in general for the past few years.
It looks like the team has little choice but to start Subban again on Wednesday. The situation is not ideal, but given the players that Boston has on hand, the only other option would be to sign a free agent to an emergency contract, which may not be feasible in such a short time span. There also needs to be more responsibility on the part of the skaters – a goalie is only as good as the team in front of him. Boston’s defensemen need to step up and not make as many mistakes as they have recently, especially since they don’t have Rask to depend on in between the pipes. Things will be shaky until Rask and Khudobin are available again, so the entire team needs to be able to support the young, inexperienced goalies.