By: Erin Walsh
The Boston Bruins are faced with a tough decision this offseason. That decision is whether to pick Anton Khudobin or Zane McIntyre as the backup goaltender for the 2017-18 season. As many of us know, Khudobin struggled this past season and has left fans with many concerns heading into the 2017-18 season. Zane McIntyre had a stellar season with the Providence Bruins, with a record of 21-6-2, a GAA of 2.03 and an SV% of .930 he helped the Providence Bruins advance all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Anton Khudobin had a record of 7-6-1 with a 2.64 GAA and a .904 SV%. He struggled to get a win in the beginning of the season, but when Bruce Cassidy was named the head coach he seemed to start playing much better. Khudobin has been in the NHL for a while and I believe he should be the Bruins backup goaltender for the 2017-18 season and here’s why:
Khudobin didn’t get to play many games in the 2016-17 season, so it was hard for him to really get in the swing of things. I would say this was a big factor in why he could not find his rhythm last season.
Dobby didn’t get much help from the team in front of him last season. The defense was poor and Khudobin made some key saves for the Bruins when the defense let players blow right by them. With that being said, Khudobin isn’t going to make huge saves like that every single time. You have to remember he’s a backup goaltender who doesn’t get paid too much. The Bruins defensive situation should be better in the 2017-18 season with the addition of Charlie McAvoy and hopefully the addition of a top 4 left handed defenseman. This means that Khudobin will be able to get some help in front of him this coming season.
McIntyre didn’t get much time to play in the NHL in the 2016-17 season and he failed to record a win in the times he did make an appearance. Now, that’s not totally his fault. McIntyre absolutely made some key saves but should the Bruins really trust him for the 2017-18 season? McIntyre is only 24 years old, which for a goaltender, is pretty young. McIntyre has plenty of time to establish himself even more and grow as a goaltender. I think it would be best for him if the Bruins keep him in Providence for the 2017-18 season and maybe give him a couple of chances to play in Boston during the season to see how he does.
Khudobin has also been with the Bruins organization in the past. He knows what is expected of him and he knows he has to be better. I can 100% say that he will not have as bad of a season in 2017-18. He will be on his game and ready to go in October.
Khudobin IS the right choice for backup. He has plenty of NHL experience, he will probably play in more games in the 2017-18 season, and he is overall the better choice for the Bruins. If the Bruins end up going with McIntyre I’d be pretty surprised. McIntyre has so much time to develop his game while Khudobin has already proved himself worthy of being the backup goaltender. Don’t forget that Dobby had some pretty amazing games towards the end of the season, and that’s the goaltender we have all seen in the past. He is absolutely the right choice for backup and Bruins fans should be excited to see if he can have a better 2017-18 season.