Khudobin ready to go when called upon

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Khudobin ready to go when called upon

BOSTON -- Anton Khudobin had dinner with Evgeni Malkin last night with the Pittsburgh Penguins in town. The Bruins' new goalie might have hoped Tuesday nights tilt with the Pens would have been his first time facing his former World Junior teammate.

Instead Khudobin will dress and back up 36-year-old Marty Turco against the Penguins at TD Garden. But the Kazakhstan natives mere presence in Boston indicates that the Bruins are slipping into sleep mode with three games remaining in the season.

The former Minnesota Wild netminder has spent the entire season in Providence, and is happy to be up with the Bruins after slogging through the AHL season with hopes of making it to Boston in time for the playoffs.

It was expected Khudobin might get at least one of the last three starts in the regular season given that Turco wont be eligible for the playoffs in Boston, but instead Turco gets the nod against Pittsburgh. The good-natured Khudobin will wait his turn and hope that it comes against Ottawa or Buffalo.

Lets finish this game tonight and see what happens next, said Khudobin. Everything is good with my wrist. Everybody is good and Im ready to go. Malkin was my roommate at the World Junior championships in Vancouver, so maybe someday I get a chance to play against him. Ive never played against him.

Tim Thomas wont even dress for Tuesday nights game as he gets some much needed rest and relaxation after playing in 16 straight games through February and March. Claude Julien said theyre not shutting Tim Thomas down for the rest of the regular season, just resting him before the playoffs.

"We want to keep our game moving in the right direction," Julien said. "We have an opportunity to mix up our lineup a little bit and give some guys some rest. But at the same time we need the guys playing to be at their best.

The will has to be there for everybody, though. That cant take a break. Its a well-deserved rest for a lot of those guys. Weve had to overtax certain players because of injuries and certain situations. So hopefully we can give some of those guys a bit of a break.

The 25-year-old Khudobin could play a fairly important role for the Bruins given the questions surrounding the groinabdomen strain suffered by Tuukka Rask. His potential readiness as a backup to Tim Thomas will be important once the postseason opens for Boston on April 12.

We need to see where Tuukka is. If Tuukka isnt ready to come back then Anton needs to be ready, said Julien. Marty cant play in the playoffs. Its clear to us and its clear to him. Tuukka is making good progress, but where well be in a week-and-a-half I really dont know.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.

Roger Goodell says he'll be present for Patriots opener at Gillette Stadium

Roger Goodell says he'll be present for Patriots opener at Gillette Stadium

PHOENIX -- Roger Goodell said during a press conference at the league meetings on Tuesday evening that he planned to attend the NFL's "kickoff game" next season, which is scheduled to be hosted by the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in September. 

Goodell has not visited Gillette Stadium since the AFC title game in January of 2015 -- the game during which Deflategate was sparked. Last season he opted to visit Atlanta for the Divisional and Championship rounds of the playoffs in back-to-back weeks. 

On Monday, Robert Kraft was asked if he anticipated Goodell visiting New England for his team's 2017 season-opener. 

"I think I'll let you all ask him that," Kraft said. "Look, he's the commissioner of the league. As we all know, he has the right to go wherever he wishes to go. If he wants to come, he's welcome to come. We're happy we'll be celebrating our fifth banner. He can decide if he wants to be there."

It appears as though he's decided to be there.