Khudobin ready for first game this week


Khudobin ready for first game this week

WILMINGTON, Mass. Its 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 Bs 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 hasnt 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.

Im just trying to get myself ready in the game. In practices Im just trying to work on something: close shots, far shots, low shots or outside and inside. It doesnt matter. I just go there to practice and work.

If youre going to think youre going to practice for two weeks and then the coach is going to need you to play, and you say Oh Im sorry, but Im not ready because Ive just practiced for two weeks? Thats not going to work. You just have to go out and play no matter how many weeks youve just practice.

Claude Julien hasnt tipped his hand about how Khudobin will be used this week, but it stands to reason Monday nights 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.

Im sure hell see some action at some point this week with these amount of games, well need to utilize both goaltenders," Julien said. "Well want to see Khudobin get some action as well. Its important for Tuukka to get some rest and also to keep Anton sharp as well.

Khudobin has gone in there and worked hard. Theres no difference from his practice as opposed to anybody else.

His Bruins teammates remember the No. 1 goaltender of Kazakhstan for his 44-save performance against the Ottawa Senators at the end of last season a game where he basically won himself the backup job behind Rask this season.

I remember his game last year in Ottawa and he was very strong for us. Right now its practice, so its always tough to say. I always score on him in practice, thats just practice, said Seidenberg with a laugh. Im sure hell be ready to go when hes called into a game.

The Bruins will play four games in six days starting with Carolina on Monday night, and will have their depth tested -- and perhaps most importantly at the backup goaltender spot where theyll need good play from Khudobin for 10-15 games this season.

McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup


McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It was a bitter pill for Adam McQuaid to sit out the first five games of this season, but it looks like the veteran Bruins stay-at-home defenseman is nearing a return to the lineup. McQuaid was cleared to potentially play in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens after an upper body injury kept him shelved for the team’s first four games, and could be approaching a return in the next few days as Claude Julien mulls a number of possible lineup changes.

“It was obviously frustrating, but I’m where I’m at now and trying to move on from it. Looking forward to getting back into the lineup hopefully as soon as possible here,” said the 30-year-old McQuaid, who had a goal and nine points in 64 games for the Black and Gold last season. “The excitement level is high for me, and it is for everybody after a loss when you’re looking forward to getting back out there.

“It would have been nice to have started the season with the guys, but you can’t change that now. I’ve had some good practices, and I’m just trying to my game as simple as possible, and take it as it comes. Obviously guys have played some games and it’s been a couple of weeks for me, so I’ll just have to keep my game simple.”

The B’s bench boss indicated it was only a matter of time before McQuaid makes his 2016-17 regular season debut, but that he’s got plenty of things to decide prior to dropping the puck against the Wild.

“[McQuaid] was cleared last game. I haven’t made any decisions based for [Tuesday night vs. Minnesota]. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, and I’ve just go to juggle those things,” said Julien. “Who knows? Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got a better picture [of injury situation], and if not then it will be game-time decisions. I wish I could have a better answer [on if McQuaid will play], but I’ve got no answers right now.”

With Colin Miller (minus-4), Joe Morrow, Torey Krug (a rough minus-3 against Montreal) and John-Michael Liles all minus players after the first five games of the season, there are ample options for Julien on which potential blueliner to bump up to the press box. McQuaid is just happy he’s getting closer to a return while skating with 23-year-old Rob O’Gara at practice, and he can get back to helping a B’s team that’s smack dab in the middle (ranked 15th allowing 3.0 goals per game) of the NHL for team defense this season. 

Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?


Monday, Oct. 24: Bergeron the best defensive forward ever?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving The Walking Dead credit for delivering a pile driver to me as a TV viewer last night. I did not see all of that coming.

*Plenty of questions and answers about the Calgary Flames as they’ve looked a little shaky in the early going this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has the Edmonton Oilers straightening things out after the brutal loss to Buffalo.

*NHL captains like Steve Stamkos carry the heavy weight of tradition on their shoulders as they go about their business.

*The Hockey News wonders if Patrice Bergeron is the best defensive forward to ever play in the NHL. I’m certain he’s in the conversation, but that’s a big, bold statement that deserves some heavy consideration. After all, he never had to defend Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe or any other number of offensive stars. I certainly think he should be in the select club he would join if/when he wins his fourth Selke Trophy.

*Minnesota D-man Matt Dumba was nearly scratched by the Minnesota Wild, and he says that he’s never going to let that happen again.

*The Anaheim Ducks placed Simon Despres on long term injured reserve as they try to stay afloat salary cap-wise, and avoid dealing off a player in-season.

*For something completely different: The Boston Celtics break ground on a new practice facility adjacent to the new Bruins place.