USA TODAY Sports
At the halfway point of the season, we're taking a look at how Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin have fared so far. Tl;dr: they've done pretty darn well.
Remember back in the beginning of the year, when we as a fanbase were collectively worried about Anton Khudobin's subpar KHL stats, and how he was expected to only play 10 or fewer games? When we were concerned over Tuukka Rask's durability if he had to play that many games? Luckily, goaltending is the least of the Bruins' problems this year. Although we don't really have advanced stats to base this one on, an eye test and comparables from around the league can do a pretty good job of showing us just how lucky we are to be backstopped by Tuuuk and Dr. Khu.
20GP, 14-3-3, 1.92 GAA, 0.928 sv%
Of goaltenders who have played 20 or more games this year, Rask has the best GAA and the second best save percentage. Two goaltenders with very comparable numbers to Rask's are Corey Crawford in Chicago and Sergei Bobrovsky in Columbus; proof that you can't judge a goaltender entirely by his baseline numbers. Rask faces an average of 27.6 shots per game, while the rest of his team puts an average of 31.7 shots on the opposing goaltender per game; Bobrovsky, whose numbers are closest to Rask's, faces about the opposite - an average of 30.2 shots per game, while his team puts 26.3 on the opposing goaltender. Bobrovsky has a winning record of 9-6-5 despite his terrible team; Rask benefits from playing behind great forwards in spite of sometimes questionable defense. As further proof of that, both Rask and Bobrovsky have allowed exactly 39 goals over the course of 20 games played - but Columbus scores the fewest goals per game of any team in the NHL, at a 2.07/game pace. Boston's sitting up in eighth with 2.89/game - and Corey Crawford, whose numbers are about identical to both Bob's and Rask's, is benefiting from a team who scores 3.25 goals/game.
The verdict: Rask gets a solid A- at this point in the season.
We certainly can't complain about a goaltender whose individual stats rank among the best in the league, and who has nearly identical numbers to the goalie being touted as one of the hottest things in the NHL right now. Despite having some visible rebound control issues in the last few games, Rask has been just as excellent as we hoped he'd be.
7GP, 5-2-0, 2.30 GAA, 0.920 sv%
Khudobin has the highest PIMs per game of any goalie in the NHL! THE BRUINS ARE GOONS. ALL OF THEM.
Ok, not really. That aside, Khudobin has been an incredibly serviceable backup. His style of play is very similar to Tim Thomas' - more reliant on athleticism than perfect positioning. He's about the same size as Thomas, as well - it's so oddly familiar to watch him work sometimes. Small sample size is obviously a factor here, but despite having worse overall numbers than his counterpart in Boston, Dr. Khu's GAA and sv% are about identical to Henrik Lundqvist's - which is not terrible at ALL.
At the beginning of the season we expected Khudobin to see ten or fewer starts all season, and at this point he's on pace for about 13, or a little more than 1/4 of the total starts for the year. Not too shabby.
Verdict: Dobby gets a B+. Five wins in seven games is no small feat, and in his first year as a regular in the NHL, he's looked pretty great.