2017-18 Bruins Projections: Goaltender
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Billy Hurst
Today we’ll be looking at who will be between the pipes for the Black and Gold throughout the 2017-18 season.
Note: win-loss predictions assume goaltender is credited with the win or loss in each of their appearances.
Starter: Tuukka Rask / Projection: 60 games, .919 save %, 7 shutouts, 36-24 W-L
Tuukka Rask is coming off another strong season. He posted a .915 save percentage and record eight shutouts on the year.
Last season he played 65 games, which is too much for a starting goalie, but under Bruce Cassidy the backup goalie situation stabilized so that number should go down this year.
The Bruins blue line should be much healthier this year as well which should take a lot of the pressure of of the netminder’s shoulders.
The veteran goaltender is entering his 30s, but has yet to show any signs of decline. His numbers should remain steady, if they don’t improve with a health defensive core.
Rask is the clear-cut starter and looks to post big numbers once again.
Backup: Anton Khudobin / Projection: 20 games, .909 save %, 1 shutout, 10-10 W-L
The Bruins acquired Anton Khudobin over the summer in 2016 with the hopes he could provide a breather to Rask.
Khudobin got off to a rough start in the 2016-2017 season and it forced Rask to play more games than Boston would have liked.
Fortunately for the Bruins, Khudobin finished the season strong. In his final seven games, he only allowed more than two goals on one occasion and it was against a Washington Capitals team with a high-powered offense.
The 31-year-old netminder looked much sharper once Bruce Cassidy took control of the team so expect him to play at least three or four more games this season.
Third string: Zane McIntyre / Projection: 1 game, .850 save %, 0 shutouts, 1-0 W-L
In a perfect world, a third-string goalie won’t even need to be used. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world so odds are that at one point or another Zane McIntyre will end up between the pipes for the Bruins, even if it’s just for a game or two.
Someone will get injured or need a game off, forcing him to be called up.
McIntyre was signed to a two-year entry-level contract back in 2015 but has seen limited playing time at the NHL level so far.
He played eight games in 2016 and 2017 but was all over the place. He struggled mightily in his first four games, allowing 14 goals total. In his second four games he looked much sharper, but he was sent back to the AHL in favor of Khudobin.
The third goaltending spot comes down to either him or Malcolm Subban.
Other names to keep an eye on
- Malcolm Subban
- Jeremy Swayman