Bruins

Malcolm Subban placed on waivers as Khudobin retains backup job

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Malcolm Subban placed on waivers as Khudobin retains backup job

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins have made their decision on their backup goaltender and they’ve also opened the door for one of their former first-round picks to leave the organization. Malcolm Subban was placed on waivers on Monday after a solid training camp, but not close to solid enough to knock Anton Khudobin off his established pedestal as Tuukka Rask’s backup.

Khudobin, 31, clinched his spot with a 35-save effort in Boston’s 1-0 loss to the Blackhawks in their preseason finale on Saturday night, and the Bruins hope he’ll be the same goalie that was outstanding in the second half of last season.

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“I think we’d been upfront about there being a competition for the backup spot, but I think [Khudobin] came in and looked good right away, and was well-conditioned and practiced well,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “He played well, so it’s his spot. He earned it.”

The writing was on the wall a bit for Subban, 23, after he was left unprotected in this summer’s expansion draft. The question now becomes if he’ll pass through waivers and report to Providence.

If Subban clears, then the Bruins hope he’ll be able to take the next step and dominate in the AHL after a fairly strong NHL camp. If he’s claimed by another NHL team then the door will be officially closed on another first-round pick bust from Peter Chiarelli’s tenure running the hockey operations in Boston. It will actually be interesting to see if any NHL team lacking goaltending depth takes a chance on claiming Subban before noon Tuesday, but it would be a bit surprising given his disastrous outings in the NHL regular season. (More below.)

“He’s carrying himself and he looks like he’s a more comfortable guy. It’s not confident because he’s always had a certain level of confidence, but he just looks more comfortable. Some of that I’d assume has to do with a good showing in Boston [during training camp],” said Cassidy. “[Subban] has stated publicly that he wants to play well for the Boston Bruins, and not for some other team. He wants to do it at this level. His camp was good and better than they’ve been in the past, and that’s why we’re talking about him.

“If he ends up in Providence then he needs to take that next step because there’s another guy down there that’s hungry to play in Zane [McIntyre]. He had a great year last year. The competition continues, but he looks better, more comfortable and more in control. It might just be maturity.”

Subban's 5.81 goals-against average and .727 save percentage in two NHL starts are among the worst in NHL history. Subban has been yanked in the second period from each of those games following pretty epic meltdowns. The hope is that he can build on the fairly average 2.41 GAA and .917 save percentage he posted last season in Providence, but he’ll need to do it while competing with McIntyre for playing time if he does clear waivers. 

Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

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Morning Skate: Habs' Pacioretty blames himself

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.  

*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.

*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.

*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.

*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.

 

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid’s leg is broken, will have surgery Monday

BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.

Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.

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Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.

“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”

Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice:

Marchand-Schaller-Bjork

DeBrusk-White-Pastrnak

Agostino-Nash-Backes

Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano

 
Chara-Carlo

Krug-McAvoy

Postma

 
Khudobin

McIntyre