Injury bugs are unavoidable for any team in any sport, and it’s especially harder for NHL teams due to the nonstop intensity and physical play. But for whatever reason, it seems that the start of almost every team’s campaign has been injury riddled. The Sabres lost Jack Eichel for a substantial amount of time, Sidney Crosby was hurt with a concussion, and Carey Price was even out with the flu (but that really isn’t an injury, is it?)
The Boston Bruins had a rough start for themselves, losing star center Patrice Bergeron for the first few games, and starting the season without defensemen Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid. Only one game into the season, starting goalie Tuukka Rask finished the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a lower body injury. Newly signed Anton Khudobin stepped in for the next few games, and Providence starter Malcolm Subban was called up. Soon afterwards, Khudobin ends up with an upper body injury that will leave him out for 3-4 weeks. Enter Zane McIntyre, backup for Providence. So not too far into the season, and all of a sudden, the netminding tandem from the Bruins affiliate is now the starting duo for the NHL roster.
Now with Bergeron, Miller, and McQauid back in the lineup, the gaping question being asked by many is how well can the Bruins do with a young inexperienced goalie in net, whether it’s Subban or McIntyre. Subban was pulled int the second period (again) in his first start of the season, and Zane McIntyre seemed fine until he was lit like a Christmas tree against the New York Rangers.
Rask should be returning between the pipes soon, but after an already shaky start, the Bruins can’t afford to lose too many games before he does. Even so, I can’t imagine Claude Julien throwing Rask in net for long stretches before having to play a backup, you don’t want to re-injure him. So either Subban or McIntyre will be handling the backup spot for the remainder of Khudobin’s recovery.
What does this mean for the team right now? With a depleted goalie depth, EVERYONE has to step up to the plate to keep the team on track. It’s a young team, especially in the defense, so I expect to see some struggles, but also some breakthroughs. I’ll be crossing my fingers for the entirety of this goalie epidemic for sure.
Wait, I got it. Lets just sign Ilya Bryzgalov. Mr. Universe is still available right?