Last night the Boston Bruins fell 5-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers scored early after a turn over from David Krejci. In the second period, Matt Read scored an amazing, unsaveable goal. Seven seconds later, Zdeno Chara made a mistake and shot on his own net. 3-1 Flyers. Anton Khudobin pulled for Tuukka Rask, who gave up two goals.
Khudobin stayed in the locker room the remainder of the second period, obviously frustrated. And why shouldn’t he have been.
Three goals were scored on Khudobin, none of which you could easily say were his fault. This comes just days after head coach Claude Julien called out Rask for the lack of timely saves. The Bruins would lose this game, yet another loss, because of their lack of scoring and defensive end struggles. Not the goaltender.
Does this sound at all familiar?
We bring you back to March 30th, 2010. The Bruins had Tim Thomas in net. This is a quote from Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston in a game recap after a loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
In the hallway behind the Boston bench at TD Garden, there are shards of a goalie stick left behind by the Bruins’ Tim Thomas.
The splintered remains are a clear indication how frustrated the reigning Vezina Trophy winner became after he was pulled from Monday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, the sixth time he’s been yanked this season. At the 6:08 mark of the second period, Bruins coach Claude Julien decided he had seen enough and pulled Thomas in an attempt to spark his team.
Fans may forget, but Tim Thomas, the 2011 Stanley Cup hero, had his run ins with Julien for the same reason. He was pulled six times that season, a season in which ended in playoff failure to the Philadelphia Flyers as Rask became the number one guy for one season.
First goal: “It was waffling the whole way, and guys were trying to block it, and I think it might have gone off somebody [Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman]. I was told that it was by people who saw the replay. I didn’t get to see the replay.”
Thomas was completely screened on the shot and it was deflected by Wideman before it went in at 9:56 of the first period. From the other end of the ice, Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (40 saves) had a good look at the goal. “I don’t think Thomas had a chance on that one,” Miller said.
Buffalo led 3-1 at that point in the game, same score as when Khudobin was pulled last night in Philadelphia. The Bruins would lose that game 3-2. This last one comes from a Bruins 5-3 win over Columbus when they pulled Thomas in a tie game in December 2011, with some choice words from Julien. Story comes from NECN.
“Timmy didn’t look as comfortable tonight as we’ve seen him before and a couple of goals went through,” said Julien. “It was a gut feeling from the coach’s perspective.” Thomas didn’t stop to address the performance with the media following the feel-good victory.
This isn’t new for Julien, and he made the wrong goaltender decision in the playoffs in 2010, or so it seems in hindsight. This is just one of the questionable decisions made in past weeks by Julien, but this stands out as glaring since he called out Rask just last week for allowing two goals to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Plenty of more questions arise; why is Andrew Ference still getting a shot with Wade Redden and Mart Bartkowski being able to step in, for one? We all see how much the assistant captain has struggled this season. We all love his leadership and charity work, but he has struggled in 2013.
The most glaring issue of all has to be the line combinations. Jaromir Jagr at one point was on a line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille who have never had more than 18 assists in a season. And they play on a line with a future hall of famer? Meanwhile, Milan Lucic still sees first line time at parts of games.
But before we question any further, remember, this is the man who had Chris Bourque in a shootout.