Tuukka Rask is the Boston Bruins starting goaltender, but that doesn’t mean he can start every game.
The NHL season is long and brutal, and netminders don’t have the pleasure of shifting on and off the ice like skaters. As a result, if a team wants to find success, they need a competent backup goalie to lighten the starter’s workload.
Rask has been solid enough for the Bruins, but last season he was forced to play 65 games because of an inconsistent backup goalie situation.
The Bruins are going to need that number to go down this season. They need Rask to be in good shape if they want to make a deeper playoff run in 2017-18.
The amount of games he plays will ultimately come down to how well his back up performs, and that backup is likely to once again be Anton Khudobin.
The Bruins signed Khudobin in free agency last summer in hopes that he could be a steady back up for Tuukka Rask, but his 2016-17 campaign was marred with inconsistency.
He started the season poorly, going 1-5-1 in his first seven games. His closed the campaign strong with 6-1 record, but the Bruins need more consistency out of him.
Also, the Black and Gold have Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre on the roster to compete for the job of backup goalie.
Whoever backs up Tuukka Rask this season needs to be prepared to take on a bigger work load and help him out.