TORONTO – Claude Julien might have raised an eyebrow or two when he opted to start backup Anton Khudobin for the second consecutive game while sitting down Tuukka Rask amidst a two game losing streak.
It’s also fairly certain Julien didn’t envision things the way they went down when he needed to pull Khudobin after giving up three goals on 11 shots on the way to an eventual 3-2 loss to the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Goaltending was far from stellar as they lost despite outshooting Toronto by a 33-13 margin, and there were mistakes made from the neutral zone in toward their net.
Despite that Julien said he was looking to giving his team a shake after Khudobin allowed Toronto enforcer Frazer McLaren to backhand a dribbling shot through his pads to give the Leafs a three goal advantage.
“It’s frustrating because we [only] again played in the third period after they made it 3-0,” said Julien. “There wasn’t enough fight in us tonight to deserve the win. We need to continue to battle.
“They only had 13 shots, but they were still up 3-0. The way we gave up the goals, they were mistakes. The last goal we gave up was a weak goal, so I had to give them a jolt somehow by putting Tuukka back in there. We seemed to turn the corner and play a little bit more of our game, but we shouldn’t have to wait for that.”
Khudobin was disappointed with the way he played while getting his personal his personal two-game winning streak snapped. The McLaren goal that found a hole in his pads was one score that still remained on Khudobin’s mind after the game, and not in a good way at all. As it should be with a goal that everybody agreed was of the "soft" variety, and those can't happen for the Bruins in the third period anymore.
“Sometimes it happens. I think it was a soft goal by me. The coach felt like he needed a make change there on the goalies. It happens sometimes,” said Khudobin. “Tomorrow we have another practice. I’ll just go and work there and try to forget about this game. It was a tough game.”
Rask made three saves in relief and his presence seemed to spark his teammates as they closed the game to within one goal, and sympathized with his goaltending partner in a game where Khudobin didn’t see much action.
Whenever the puck was in Boston’s end it seemed like he was fishing it out of the back of the net. Rask has been there before and knows it’s a difficult challenge for a goaltender.
“I’ve been part of these kinds of games before. Thank goodness they don’t happen too often,” said Rask. “You don’t feel right. It’s like you’re watching the game from your couch and then all of a sudden there’s a shot at you. That’s tough for a goalie.”
The Finnish netminder said he didn’t read too much into Khudobin getting the start against the Leafs coming off a 27-save masterpiece win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. But it might be a little while before that happens again given the way things turned out for the Bruins and the goalies while dropping three games on the four game road trip.