UPDATE: Julien said that Rask will start today's game in goal against the Jets.
Logic would dictate that Monday afternoon will be the day when the goaltending rotation officially gets started. After Tuukka Rask got things off to a solid start with a 20-save effort in Saturday nights 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers in Bostons home opener, the stage could be set for Anton Khudobin to follow suit with his debut in a Martin Luther King Day matinee against the Winnipeg Jets.
It would make sense for Claude Julien to get the Kazakhstan native into an NHL game sooner rather than later, and the Bruins play seven games in the 13 days on the January schedule during a busy opening. Khudobin was okay in the KHL while playing for a bad team, but did show off his potential in a 44-save effort against the Ottawa Senators at the end of last season.
The expectation is that Rask will play somewhere between 30-35 games in the shortened 48-game schedule and that would leave anywhere from 13-18 games for Khudobin as the backup. But that will be dictated by performance and whether Khudobin thrives while proving to everybody hes a bona fide NHL goaltender after proving himself at the AHL level.
But the Bruins arent ready to map anything out more than on a week-to-week basis.
We have to feel our way through this as we move along here. We know well see both goalies, said Claude Julien. Im trying to in constant communication because weve been put in such an unpredictable situation, and that goes for the team and for the individuals.
You never knowa plan can go out the window as soon as theres an injury. You can spend a lot of time planning that stuff. Im more of a week-to-week situation when it comes to looking at the schedule and planning ahead. It also depends on the goaltenders play as well. Its a lot of wasted energy to say out of 48 games that Tuukka will play 30 and the other goalie will play 18 games. What if it doesnt happen that way?
So nobody will know the starting goaltender until the team takes the ice at 12:30 pm unless Julien goes the unconventional for him anyway route of naming his goaltender prior to pregame skate.
Now THIS is old-time hockey!
There's bad blood between the Bruins' David Backes and the Stars' Jamie Benn that goes back a long way, most recently in last spring's Dallas-St. Louis playoff series when Backes was still with the Blues. They met again today -- and the ungodly (hockey) hour of 11:30 a.m. Dallas time -- for a nationally televised game between Backes' new team, the Bruins, and the Stars.
And it didn't take long for the two to renew acquaintances . . .
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.