It's expected that Bruins backup goaltender Anton Khudobin will make his season debut at the beginning of this week as Boston enters the compressed portion of its NHL schedule. The B's will have their first back-to-back of the season on Monday and Tuesday when they travel to Carolina for a tilt against the Hurricanes and host the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden on Tuesday night.
So it gives the Bruins their first opportunity to throw Khudobin between the pipes after Rask backstopped the Black and Gold through their first four games. Khudobin hasn't seen any game action since allowing five goals in the Black and Gold scrimmage two weeks ago, and he is looking forward to doing a little more than practicing.
"During practice I just go there, stop some shots and work on my weaknesses," said Khudobin, who went 6-14-4 with a .912 save percentage and 2.96 goals against average for Moscow Oblast Atlant in the KHL during the lockout.
"I'm just trying to get myself ready in the game. In practices I'm just trying to work on something: close shots, far shots, low shots or outside and inside. It doesn't matter. I just go there [to practice] and work.
"If you're going to think you're going to practice for two weeks and then the coach is going to need you to play, and you say 'Oh I'm sorry, but I'm not ready because I've just practiced for two weeks?' That's not going to work. You just have to go out and play no matter how many weeks you've just practice."
Claude Julien hasn't tipped his hand about how Khudobin will be used this week, but it stands to reason Monday night's road game against the Carolina Hurricanes might be the best chance to break him in. After Boston's matchup with New Jersey, they have divisional games against Buffalo and Toronto later this week. With that busy schedule, it might just be the best time to work Khudobin in while keeping Rask sharp for some bigger games on the weekly schedule.
Khudobin ready for first game this week
CSN New England | Jan 28