Friday, March 1, 2013
Khudobin: 'I'm playing tomorrow'
By James Murphy
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- While Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn’t confirm who his starting goalie would be Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, backup Anton Khudobin, indicated that he will get the call between the pipes.
“I’m playing tomorrow,” Khudobin told ESPNBoston.com following an optional skate for the team Friday.
That would spell some relief for number one goalie Tuukka Rask, who has started the last five games. But with Rask in a zone right now, winning all five of those games to push his record to 11-1-2 on the season with a 1.82 goals-against average and .933 save percentage, there is also the chance that could break Rask’s groove. As head coach Claude Julien -- who despite being pressed by the media, wouldn’t confirm Khudobin as the starter Saturday -- pointed out Friday, it’s a fine balance for him and his coaching staff. They want to keep Rask at his best, but also give him rest during the current run that sees the Bruins play 33 games in 60 days.
“I want to utilize both goalies at some point and as you know Tuukka right now is playing extremely well and we’re happy with that,” Julien said. “But at some point we know that it’s impossible to ride Tuukka through this whole thing and right now we’re depending on both of them. It’s a feel and it’s also about making the right decisions at times. As far as what I’ve seen from Khudobin, he’s been good and we certainly don’t have a concern about using both goaltenders.
But you certainly have a number one who is playing very well and you don’t want him to lose that groove and you make decisions on that and try to keep him fresh and sharp just like the other guy.”
As for Khudobin, who has been solid in his three starts going 2-1-0 with a 2.70 goals-against average and .905 save percentage, he’ll be ready whenever Julien calls on him.
“I’ve been backup before and I know what it takes,” Khudobin said. “So it’s day-by-day and if coach is going to give you the chance then go out and play and if not always be ready at practice.”