Tuukka Rask out with concussion for Bruins
The Boston Bruins took a gamble at the start of the 2017-18 season, waiving goaltender Malcolm Subban in hopes that he’d clear and head to the AHL for more conditioning.
Instead, he was picked up by the Vegas Golden Knights – leaving the Atlantic Division club without a chunk of their depth chart heading into the season.
They still have Zane McIntyre, who was seeming more likely for an NHL gig than Subban by the time the 2012 first round pick was claimed, and Daniel Vladar should hopefully be NHL ready in the coming seasons. They had to hope that Tuukka Rask would be capable of shouldering the load until one of those two was ready, though.
Unfortunately, that won’t be the case.
It was confirmed on Thursday that Anton Khudobin will move from backup to the starting role temporarily, as Rask sits out to recover from a concussion sustained earlier in the week.
Khudobin is off to a roaring start this season, boasting a .950 save percentage through 79 minutes of ice time. He’s been credited with one win and allowed just two goals on 40 shots, helping Boston with a significantly improved presence in net over his 2016-17 campaign.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to sustain that over any number of starts -and Boston will be without Rask for likely a minimum of a week, if not longer.
It’s an unsurprising situation for Boston to find themselves in. Although Rask has luckily avoided a true season-ending injury since taking over as starter during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, he’s been held out with various injuries and physical ailments over each of the last few seasons that leave Boston relying upon little-used backups and unproven prospects. Last season, they found themselves in the lurch when Khudobin was unable to win a game for a chunk of the season – now, they’ll have to hope that off year is behind him.
Subban certainly hadn’t shown anything spectacular in his first few games at the NHL level, but his near-shutout in his NHL debut for the Golden Knights suggests that Boston may have given up on him too quickly. Now, they’ll have to hope that what’s left in the system is enough to get them through until Rask returns to full health.