I was thoroughly disappointed with Bruce Cassidy yesterday. He came out and nipped the “goalie controversy” in the butt, saying there was not one. BOOOOOOO. I am a firm believer that we should be riding the Anton Khudobin wave. Sean, he’s not that good. Sean, he’s going to come down from his high. Blah, Blah, Blah, to all of you. Khudobin has lifted that locker room from the depths of hell that Tuukka put it in. It may be the fact that I like “aggressive” goalies more (they are exponentially more entertaining). It may be that I root for the guy on the bench more than the starter. It may be that I just enjoy watching the Bruins win….Go figure. Cassidy could have created a win-win situation and instead dropped the ball or in this case puck.
Of course, Tuukka goes out last night and beats the team with the best record in the NHL. I’ll be honest, I was working all night so I saw bits and pieces of the game. Looking at the stats, it seems to me Tuukka was a minimal factor in the victory. The Bruins only allowed 21 shots and Tuukka let 2 in keeping his .900 save percentage trend going. That continues to be abysmal.
Now I am not trying to be a Tuukka hater. Heck, I would love for him to start playing like a 7 million dollar a year goalie. It frustrates me though, that it has taken 23 games for him to all of a sudden wake-up. There is always a getting back into the groove period, but it taking 1/4th of the season is too much time in my mind. We should all be bowing down to Anton Khudobin. Can you imagine the media circus that would have transpired if he doesn’t play out of his mind? Oh my god, I can hear it now. Sell Bergeron, Sell Marchand, Sell Krejci, Trade Chara, Trade Tuukka. TANK FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. Instead, this team just beat the best team (record-wise) in hockey and are starting to get healthier. The Nose Face Killah, Brad Marchand was out in full force last night, and David Backes returned from colon surgery.
All is well and dandy for now as we keep winning, but I really do think Butch Cassidy missed an opportunity to take the reigns of “The Sundance Kids”. I feel he should have continued to ride the hot glove while he had it and used that momentum to the team’s advantage. It’s obvious Tuukka needed a fire lit under his ass and I think he doused water on it, instead of pouring gasoline. Tuukka didn’t exactly impress last night, and this team especially the young defensemen need to have more confidence in their goaltender. It’s obvious they trust Khudobin. If you announce Khudobin as the starter last night you then create the bonfire that’s obviously needed to get Tuukka focused. Since all of you experts say Khudobin is going to start to suck any day now it makes sense to keep riding the wave until it fizzles out. Then you have a rested, rejuvenated, Tuukka Rask ready to go out and perform the way we know he can. I’m thinking about the playoffs when I say this, but the less games Tuukka plays in the regular season the better. We’ve seen in the past Tuukka gets tired by playoff time. He has been a workhorse for the past few years. How awesome would it be to have him at 100% when we need it most? Rant over.
It’s just wild to me that I even have to write about how a 35-year-old backup goalie is better than a goalie that makes 7 million a year. I don’t want to, but this is what I’m seeing. I hope Tuukka can ride this win against Tampa Bay into a nice little streak for himself, but if he doesn’t there will be no choice but to be extremely concerned.
Live look at Tuukka: