WILMINGTON, Mass. — As the Toronto Maple Leafs proved last night, pulling the goaltender doesn’t always solve a team’s problems.
The Leafs made the move from Vesa Toskala to Curtis Joseph with results so disastrous they went back to Toskala for the third period. Of course, the Boston Bruins benefited from their own goaltender switch from Tim Thomas to Manny Fernandez for the game’s final 20 minutes. It was the first time the Bruins had changed goaltenders during a game this season, and the fifth and sixth times a Bruins opponent has made a switch (all to a negative result).
Today after practice, Bruins head coach Claude Julien acknowledged that deciding to make that in-game goaltender change is one of the tougher aspects of his job.
“It’s never a good situation because, first of all, if you do it in the middle of a period it’s obvious to everybody. If you do it at the end of a period, obviously they’ve announced the change. So it’s never fun for the goaltender to hear himself being pulled out. But it still goes back to every tough decision a coach has to make you’ve got to make it for the right reasons. That’s what I did yesterday, I tried to bring some attention to our team and give Timmy a break for a night where pucks seemed to be getting by him and nothing seemed to be hitting him. Some other nights, there’s been a bunch of deflections but they were hitting him. So it’s just the nature of the game and some nights it goes your way and some nights it doesn’t.”