BOSTON -- Now that Anton Khudobin has been called up from Providence, it would appear the electric golden pads of Marty Turco might not get another chance to shine -- or glow -- this season.
The Bruins' first round playoff series is expected to open at TD Garden between April 12 and 14, and their plan is starting to take shape. Part of that plan was initiated Monday with Khudobins promotion to the Bruins. With Tuukka Rask hoping to take the ice this week as he recovers from a strained groinabdomen, Khudobin will need to be readied just in case Rask isnt fully healthy when the playoffs begin.
That means Thomas will get some rest in the final three regular season games -- most likely after the Penguins game -- and Khudobin will be getting the call as soon as the road game against the Ottawa Senators.
So far with Providence this year, the 5-foot-11, 203 pound goalie has gone 21-19-3 in 44 games while recording two shutouts. He currently has a 2.61 goals against average (GAA) and a .919 save percentage. After missing time at the beginning of March with a wrist injury, Khudobin returned to action on March 23 and has gone 2-2 in his last four games back.
The Bruins will be putting their best foot forward on Tuesday night against a Pittsburgh Penguins team a Cup-worthy club they might just end up facing down the road in the playoffs and then using the final week plus to gather rest prior to the postseason grind.
It will be one game at a time and well manage it that way, said Claude Julien. We have some things to think about. Were going to try to manage ice time and get some guys some rest where need be.
The plan for rest will include scaling back on the ice time minutes for key players like Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin and Johnny Boychuk and perhaps even giving a game off to players like Bergeron and Chris Kelly that have played the entire season without a single game of rest. But Julien said the challenge is divvying up the rest while balancing that off with making a statement in their final three games against worthy, relevant opponents.
There are some important games to be played here. We play Pittsburgh, Ottawa could be our first round opponents in the playoffs, and Buffalo is fighting to get into the playoffs, said Julien. We have to take care of our business, but we have to think it through before we make those decisions.
Unlike a team like the Sabres, the Bruins have the benefit of getting a little rest and relaxation with nine days until the Stanley Cup postseason journey begins for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins have done a magnificent job finding pockets of rest where they could during the regular season, and they would be wise to continue with their big moment just around the corner.