Solkoff: Goaltending Large Part of Bruins’ Success
Photo Credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters
It’s hardly fair to say that the Boston Bruins, who sit at second place in the Eastern Conference, have any big issues.
Sure, their leading scorer Brad Marchand is suspended, but beyond that, there isn’t much that could be going better for the Bruins. In fact, they’ve received points in 18 of their last 19 games, which is a huge achievement for a team that hasn’t had a good playoff run since the 2012-2013 season.
While there are many pieces to thank for the high-powered play in the past month and a half, the goaltending has been great for the Bruins and has proven to be an important piece of the puzzle that has helped them perform well so far this season.
While he has had some goaltending issues in the past few seasons after winning the Vezina Trophy in 2014, Rask has played fairly well this season- which is exactly the issue. With the trade deadline of Feb. 26 quickly approaching, it would make sense for the Bruins to try to trade a player who has a capable backup and could bring in some veteran talent to a team that boasts a very young core. Rask, who is 20-8-4 on the season, fits the bill.
The other key part of the Bruins success between the goalposts is Anton Khudobin, who has been great this year.
Khudobin has posted a solid 10-3-4 this season while putting up a .924 save percentage and a 2.36 goals-against average. Khudobin’s season has not overshadowed Rask’s, as Rask has the same save percentage as Khudobin’s and has a better goals-against average at 2.16.
The Bruins seem to be taking a split goaltending approach, giving both goalies a good amount of time between the goalposts.
While the goaltending has been great through most of the season, it has really been on display during this past month and a half.
Since their Dec. 16 game against the New York Rangers, the Bruins have scored more than double the number of times as their opponents, scoring 73 goals to their opponents 36. Going forward into the second half of the season, it will be important for the Bruins goaltending as well as their high-powered offense to continue to produce.
What has been more impressive to you this season: The Bruins’ goaltending or offensive power? Let us know in the comments section!