Although Tuukka Rask seems to be progressing well in his attempt to return from a severe abdominal/groin injury he suffered early last month, the Bruins still need to make sure they have a backup goaltender with some experience for when the playoffs start in nine days.
So today they recalled Anton Khudobin from Providence of the American Hockey League. Khudobin was recovering from his own injury when Rask went down, which led to the brief recall of Michael Hutchinson and the subsequent signing of veteran Marty Turco. Turco is not eligible to play in the postseason.
This year with the P-Bruins, Khudobin has a 21-19-3 record, 2.61 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 44 games. More importantly, Khudobin, who the Bruins acquired in a trade with Minnesota last season, has appeared in six regular-season NHL games. He’s posted a 4-1-0 record with a 1.39 GAA and .955 save percentage. Last season, he shut out Vancouver for the Wild.
The Bruins were off today with no media availability. My guess is that Khudobin will start at least one, if not two, of the Bruins’ final three games now that the team is locked in as the No. 2 seed. You have to figure Tim Thomas doesn’t need more than one more game to be prepared for the playoffs. Thomas might not even dress for the season finale against Buffalo Saturday. My guess is you see Khudobin against Ottawa and Buffalo with Thomas backing up against the Senators, unless Thomas wants to face the Sens one more time before the eventual Boston-Ottawa playoff series.
Of course, if Rask is ready for the playoffs then none of this is all that necessary. But it still doesn’t hurt to make sure Khudobin, who would at least be the No. 3 in the postseason depending on Rask’s status, has a little more NHL experience under his belt before the most important games of the season.