Malcolm Subban ready to compete for Bruins’ backup goalie job
The Boston Bruins have a pretty wide open competition for the No. 2 goaltending job behind starter Tuukka Rask.
Competing for that spot are Anton Khudobin, the player that held that position for most of last season, Zane McIntyre, and 2012 first-round pick Malcolm Subban.
From the time he was drafted Subban was thought to be the future of the position in Boston but his stock seems to have dropped a bit in recent seasons and he now finds himself in danger of being passed over on the organizational depth chart. He spent the 2016-17 season in Providence where he split time with McIntyre, with McIntyre getting the better of the play, finishing with a .930 save percentage in 31 games (to a .917 save percentage for Subban in 32 games).
“I believe I can play,” Subban said this past week, via the Boston Herald. “I know my talent better than anyone else and I believe I can play. I want to come in to camp and prove that. Obviously, it’s easier said than done. Everyone in camp believes they can play or else they wouldn’t be here. I’m just trying to prove I can play in the NHL, or get an opportunity at least.”
Throughout his pro career Subban has posted okay numbers in the American Hockey, but nothing that really jumps off the page. He has only appeared in two NHL games with both of them ending badly for him, allowing a total of six goals on 22 shots in his two appearances. The most recent appearance came during the 2016-17 season when he allowed three goals on only six shots in an ugly loss to the Minnesota Wild.
The Bruins re-signed Subban -- along with McIntyre -- to a two-year contract this summer.
Solidifying the backup goalie spot should be a pretty big priority for the Bruins because it was a major sore spot during the 2016-17 season.
Even though his production has slipped a bit in recent seasons Rask can still be a top tier starting goalie in the NHL. But he has been counted on to carry a massive workload due to the lack of quality play behind him.
The Bruins managed to win just seven games last season when Rask did not start, while his backups managed to post a miserable .888 save percentage.
A capable backup that can give Rask a bit of a break during the season will not only give the Bruins a better chance to win when he is not in the lineup, it might also help improve his play simply because he would not be run into the ground.