Claude overseeing the changing of the guard from Tim Thomas to Tuukka Rask is a move that Bruins fans to this day are still thankful for. While Rask delivered the Bruins to the promised land in 2013, a tough Blackhawks team stole Lord Stanley’s cup away. While since then the Bruins have experienced some regular season success, including a President’s Trophy win, quick trips to the playoffs and flat-out missing them are the norm.
Despite what the Bruins and the media might tell you, a goalie controversy is brewing in TD Garden. Tuukka Rask struggles continued at the start of the season. Anton Khudobin is flying high this season coming out with a 2.53 GAA and a .922 Save%. This season’s numbers are right on par with Khudobin’s career numbers of a 2.46GAA, and .917S% respectively. Although Rask’s play of late is an encouraging sign, as of writing this he’s won his last 4, including 30 stops in a 3-1 Bruins’ victory over the Islanders, his future in Boston seems up in the air.
Before us armchair GM’s pack Tuukka’s bags for him, we must first find a possible destination for him. Don Sweeney and the Bruins should be on the phones with, and that is the Calgary Flames. The Flames are floating along in the pacific division with 34 points. Mike Smith is currently giving adequate numbers with a 2.68GAA and .918Sv%. What could bring Calgary over the hump is a hype goalie like Tuukka Rask. The Bruins need to do something to complement our young forwards and defensemen to take the Bruins into the future.
Jon Gillies, National Champion and former Providence College Friar, is an up and coming player in the Flames system. During the 2016-2017 season, Gillies played one game with the Flames and gave up 1 goal on 28 shots. This season he has only played in one game and gave up 3 goals on 9 shots. 2 games in the NHL is not enough to go on, his numbers in the AHL and Providence College are the most impressive. Gillies is set to become an unrestricted free agent soon so his value will diminish a small amount.
Rask’s commitment and sometimes long absences leave a bad taste in many, including myself and other Bruins fan’s mouths. Since the beginning of the season, Rask’s play has drastically turned a corner. Rask has a high value and Calgary should be willing to depart with at least a 2nd round pick. Depending on how the goal tending does in Calgary for the rest of the season, Calgary could become desperate. This could give the Bruins the opportunity to ask for a first rounder.
While Khudobin is playing great season, he is not the long-term solution for the Bruins. As we’ve seen from Malcolm Subban, the Bruins are not always the best at developing goalies. I believe it is too early to give up on Zane McIntyre. His stats in the NHL are awful, (3.93GAA and .858Sv%) his play in Providence is quite good. The former University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux was instrumental in helping bring the P-Bruins to the Calder Cup Finals. However, as we’ve seen with Matt Murray in Pittsburgh, a goalie could fall right in our laps.