BRIGHTON, Mass – Despite not having played in a game in more than a week, backup goalie Anton Khudobin was missing from Wednesday’s practice with a lower body injury suffered at some point in training camp.
Coach Bruce Cassidy said the Bruins expect it to be “nothing major” and that Khudobin will be back at practice on Thursday, but the plan isn’t to play him in net until this weekend in Boston’s preseason finale against Chicago.
“[It’s a lower body injury...nothing major we hope,” said Cassidy. “That’s what I’ve been told, so he should be back out there tomorrow. Tuukka is starting tomorrow, so we’re not really worried if he’s not up to speed by then. We’d like to get [Khudobin] some work on Saturday.”
To this point, Khudobin’s only work of the preseason was stopping 20 of 22 shots against the Detroit Red Wings eight days ago while watching Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban get the lion’s share of preseason action between the pipes since then.
It’s really no harm, no foul if Khudobin misses a few days with a nagging lower body issue and there’s only a problem if the Bruins backup isn’t ready to go once it’s final preparation time for the regular season. Clearly, the B’s need Khudobin ready to go and likely able to play as many as 20-25 games this season while getting plenty of work backing up Tuukka Rask after the No. 1 goalie has worn down the past few seasons.
It was Rask, Malcolm Subban and youngster Daniel Vladar as the practice goalies on Wednesday at Warrior Ice Arena, where the Bruins have condensed camp into one massive practice group still competing for jobs. Here are the line combos and D-pairings from practice with the top four lines really beginning to take shape: