Kalman’s Column: Throw Fernandez in the fire

That’s right, all three Cup winners since the lockout have needed two goaltenders to get the job done. And while Bryzgalov and Ward didn’t get a proportional number of starts in comparison to their clubs’ No. 1 during the regular season, they obviously received enough playing time to keep them ready. I just don’t see Fernandez’s current dose of playing time suiting him and keeping him in the mix. At this point, it’s more about the mental than the physical with Fernandez. If he thinks the organization doesn’t believe in him, he doesn’t believe in himself. And then how are his teammates supposed to perform in front of him?

The only way to stop the vicious cycle is to put Fernandez in there. I’m talking about a straight rotation, with perhaps a couple of back-to-back situations thrown each guy’s way — like the way things were in the salad days of December. Although it’s going to be a dogfight to the end of the season for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, the Bruins are in a relatively comfortable position as far as playoffs are concerned. If they have to sacrifice a game or two now to reap the rewards when the stakes are highest — and I for one don’t believe that giving Fernandez regular playing time would be a ‘sacrifice’ — then that’s what should be done.

No one’s going to remember how the Bruins did against Los Angeles or Ottawa in March. Everyone’s going to remember what happens after April 12. It would be better to go into the Stanley Cup playoffs with two ready and willing top-caliber goaltenders.

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