Frustrated Khudobin vows to 'keep moving forward' after another loss

Frustrated Khudobin vows to 'keep moving forward' after another loss

BOSTON – Anton Khudobin is definitely reaching a boiling point with his personal frustration, and the losses that are mounting when he's between the pipes. 

The Russian netminder was on the losing end of things again on Thursday night when he allowed four goals on 27 shots in the Bruins 4-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at TD Garden, and now has just one win in six tries this season. 

It certainly wasn’t all Khudobin’s fault this time around. The Ducks first goal was a puck that bounced off David Krejci’s stick on the way to the back of the net, and Anaheim’s game-winner bounced off the back of Brandon Carlo’s skate before landing right on Rickard Rakell’s stick for the strike in the second period. In fact those kinds of unfortunate bounces exasperated Khudobin enough following another loss to call it a “cluster-(expletive)”, and left him angrier in his postgame thoughts rather than feeling frustrated or sorry for himself. 

“Go in for the practice, talk to [goalie coach Bob Essensa], see what we can do better, and keep moving forward,” said Khudobin, when asked what the plan was to bounce back from another defeat. “Nothing can kill me right now. Obviously, it’s disappointing. I’m not really happy. But I’m not going to put my head down and say that I’m done.”

It wasn’t all bad bounces for Khudobin, though. The Bruins backup goalie was beaten cleanly on a breakaway in the second period with defenseman Kevin Bieksa as the goal-scorer after he hopped out of the penalty box, and a good goalie operating at the height of his powers doesn’t get beaten by the likes of Bieksa. The third goal allowed to Anaheim on a Josh Manson rebound in front certainly happened mostly because the Bruins had nobody clearing the front of the net after a Brandon Carlo turnover, but the play never really materializes if Khudobin doesn’t spit out a big rebound in the first place. 

So Khudobin was average at best on Thursday night against the Ducks, and that doesn't feel close to good enough among many casual B's observers. Clearly Khudobin needs to be much better than that in order to beat back the teams salivating at the chance to face the Black and Gold without Tuukka Rask in their starting lineup.

The Bruins players are just as determined to play better in front of Khudobin, and give the affable Russian goalie something to smile about after a bummer of a season thus far.  

“We believe in every single guy, you know? It’s just, like I said, tough break. The first goal was all me," said David Krejci. “Everyone had their guy [in the D-zone], I just couldn’t put the stick on it and tried to clear it. But things are going to happen. 

“Dobby had zero chance on that, and I felt like we should have done a little better job in front of him. They always had two guys crashing the net and they got a couple bad goals. So we’ve got to do better job at this and help him out a little bit better.”

The Bruins clearly need to get better, but so does Khudobin as a goalie that needs to be both improved and one with a few more W’s next to his name, if he’s going to protect his cushy gig as the main understudy to Rask this season. 

Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

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Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

GOLD STAR: Jaden Schwartz stepped up and won the game for the Blues with a couple of really good plays in the third period and overtime. He took advantage of a line change and a lax Bruins defense to snap a shot past Anton Khudobin from the face-off circle in the third period that tied up the game, and then went on a one-man rush in overtime before blasting a puck past Khudobin for the game-winner on a beautiful individual play. Schwartz finished with the two goals that represented all of the St. Louis offense, four shots on net, a hit and a takeaway in 20:02 of ice time while logging a plus-2 rating as well. The Blues clearly needed somebody to step up to the plate with Vladimir Tarasenko and the Schwartz was with St. Louis on Wednesday night.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins were quite literally black and blue after a physical, punishing game with the St. Louis Blues. A number of players took heavy hits against a St. Louis team that felt free to throw hits and take runs with Zdeno Chara and David Backes out of Boston’s lineup among other players, and that culminated with Brayden Schenn drilling David Krejci in the second period. It was a hit that earned Schenn a two minute penalty for charging midway through the period, but shouldn’t result in anything more for the Blues forward. The hit wasn’t late, his skates were on the ice when he made contact, and Krejci was crouched down when Schenn made impact on a heavy check with his elbows tucked in, so it looked like a relatively clean hit that isn’t going to be on the radar of the NHL’s Player Safety Department. That physicality for the Blues really seemed to slow down the Bruins a little bit as things went on over the 60 plus minutes of the overtime game.


TURNING POINT: The Bruins actually only got outshot by a 15-13 margin in the second period, third period and overtime, but it was clear that they slowed down in terms of attacking and creating chances as things moved on in the game. By the latter half of the game the Bruins were simply trying to hang on to their one-goal lead, and then after that simply trying to hang in there for the point earned by getting to overtime. They managed to do it, but it was a different wave of momentum in the game once the Blues tied things up in the third period on Schwartz’s first goal. After that the Bruins were scrambling and hanging on, and did just enough to hang in there for a single overtime point for the second game in a row.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Donato made it two goals in two games when he stepped into a loose puck created by an Alex Pietrangelo turnover that bounced off referee Brad Watson after he attempted to throw a puck up the middle of the ice. Donato pounced on the fortuitous bounce and rocked a puck on edge past Jake Allen for the game’s first goal and another affirmation that the 21-year-old can both shoot and score. Donato was pretty quiet after that goal, of course, with a couple of shots on net, but it seemed like a big, heavy hit on him by Dmitri Jaskin in the second period kind of quieted the youngster down a little bit. Still, you’ve got to love the production from a player just getting his feet wet at the NHL level.

BY THE NUMBERS: 100 – The number of points for the Bruins after falling in overtime by a 2-1 score to the Blues, and in getting to the century mark the B’s clinched a playoff spot for the second season in a row.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s step one. Going into the season we wanted to make the playoffs and be a Stanley Cup contender. Right now we got in and we’re going to be a contender, right? Now it’s about being in the best position possible going forward.” –Bruce Cassidy, to reporters in St. Louis about clinching the playoff spot on Wednesday night.


Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

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Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

With a playoff berth in-hand, the Boston Bruins celebrated on Instagram with a playful video about their fans.

The short video put their fans into categories: the hugger, the faithful, the screamer, the loose cannon, the comfortable commentator and the emotional trainwreck.

No matter how the devotees enjoy Bruins games, they can all unit over their hockey team. Here's the vide for your enjoyment.

It's playoff time. Diehards unite. #InOurBlood

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