While it’s highly unlikely that both Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak end up injured at the same time during the playoffs, it can’t be ruled out. Plus, there should be some exhibition ice time available, so, let’s take a look at the other two goalies on the Bruins’ Return to Play roster: Dan Vladar and Max Lagace.
Vladar was featured last month in our Top Prospects countdown, but if you missed that, it’s worth recapping what he’s done thus far.
The 22-year-old was selected as the #75 pick in the 2015 Draft. He’s logged four professional seasons, with time split in the ECHL and AHL.
During his time in Providence, he’s 33-22-7 with 6 career shutouts. This past shortened season, he went 14-7-1, had a 0.936 save percentage, and 1.79 GAA.
While between the pipes with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators, he even registered an assist...always a cool feat by a goalie to get in the points column.
During his time in the Bruins organization, Vladar’s development has been up and down. He showed great promise in Atlanta, giving him the opportunity to be the lead in net for Providence for the 2018-19 season. After a losing record that season, he bounced back and improved his game, but only saw 24 games this past season because of the pandemic.
Unlike Vladar, Lagace has NHL experience. He appeared in 17 games with the Vegas Golden Knights a couple of years ago. The Bruins signed the 27-year-old Canadian last summer as they looked to add another goaltender as organizational depth.
Since 2014, he’s seen time on several different AHL and ECHL teams (and with the Golden Knights of course), and posted a winning record in four of his six seasons.
At the AHL level, he’s appeared in 158 games (compared to Vladar’s 68 games). He’s also competed in a few AHL playoff games and has notched four assists in his career (looks like the P-Bruins’ goalies are secret offensive dynamos).
Heck, he even got credited for a goal during the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.
HISTORY!!!— Chicago Wolves (@Chicago_Wolves) May 6, 2020
Thanks to Max Lagace, we have a goalie goal for the first time in 83 years of @TheAHL playoffs and the first time in 25 seasons of Wolves hockey.
"HEY, THIS IS GOING IN!!! IT'S A GOAL!!!"#WolvesPlayoffsPlayback pic.twitter.com/qMCFZJI1GM
This past season was his strongest yet, with a record of 22-7-3 in 33 games, leading the AHL in wins.
Five of those wins were shutouts, and he had a 0.919 save percentage and 2.37 GAA.
His impressive numbers during the season could get Lagace the chance to get re-signed during the offseason, but with the coming logjam in the Providence net, it’s more likely that Lagace will get a contract offer from a different club.
So...worst-case scenario, and one of these guys ends up needing to play?
I think Lagace has a better shot at seeing possible time if something crazy happens over the next few months, based on his experience. While both goalies have shown promise, Lagace has seen more games and time in the NHL, and that would likely be the deciding factor if one of them was needed.