Bruins put Anton Khudobin on waivers
BRIGHTON — He was brought in to help the Bruins solidify their backup goaltending position for the 2016-17 season. Near the midway point of the season, it’s clear that the issue still remains and the Bruins will be headed in a different direction to solve that problem.
As first reported by Chris Johnston of SportsNet, the Bruins placed Anton Khudobin on the waiver wire on Wednesday.
Given his prior success backing up Tuukka Rask in the 2013 lockout-shortened season, the Bruins were hoping for a similar performance from Khudobin after signing him to a two-year contract worth $1.2 million in the off-season. But his early season injury and struggles between the pipes upon his return gave Don Sweeney and the Bruins management little choice.
In eight games played, the 30-year-old is 1-5-1 to go along with a 3.06 goals against average and .885 save percentage. Those numbers are a far cry from 2013 where he was 9-4-1 with a 2.32 GAA and .920 SV%.
“Well I don’t think he’s played to the level that we know he can,” head coach Claude Julien said following Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena. “We’ve seen him in the past where he was certainly capable of being a better goaltender than what we’ve seen [this year].”
Khudobin remains the only goaltender not named Rask to win a game between the pipes for the Black and Gold this year. That came all the way back on December 1st in his best start of the season where he stymied his former Carolina Hurricane teammates to one goal and made 29 saves in the B’s 2-1 shootout win at TD Garden.
The move likely opens up a spot for Zane McIntyre to be called up from Providence. The former North Dakota standout earned AHL goaltender of the month honors after posting a perfect 9-0-0 record with a 1.65 GAA and .947 save percentage in December.
McIntyre earned his first professional recall in October after injuries to Rask and Khudobin, and he didn’t fare too badly in his first two career starts. Despite a pair of losses, the 24-year-old didn’t play all that poorly against the Canadiens and Rangers – both on the road – and gave the B’s a standing chance.
The Bruins face the Oilers on Thursday before hitting the road again for a four-game road trip beginning with another back-to-back set against the Panthers and Hurricanes this weekend. With two games in less than 24 hours, McIntyre, assuming he’s recalled, will likely get the nod in either South Florida or Raleigh.