One of the battles in Boston’s training camp is for the backup goalie position. Veteran Anton Khudobin is the incumbent but is coming off an inconsistent season that saw him post just a .904 save percentage, well below the league average in 2016-17. Accordingly, some have wondered if youngster Zane McIntyre could push for the number two job with the Bruins but head coach Bruce Cassidy told CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty that Khudobin remains the favorite for the job.
“He’s in very good shape and he’s practiced well, so he’s got a leg up on the other [goalies] based on his experience. We know that going in, but he’s going to get pushed. Zane was good in a game, and Malcolm [Subban] let in a couple where he could have been more aggressive. But it was a first game, so right now they all look good. That’s a good problem to have if they all push each other, but to get direct to the point Anton has done nothing to lose that backup spot.”
If McIntyre isn’t able to supplant Khudobin for the backup role with the Bruins, he will be able to go down to Providence without going through waivers as he’s exempt for this season. The same can’t be said for Malcolm Subban, who would have to hit the wire before heading to the AHL.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Rangers winger Jesper Fast is progressing well in his recovery from offseason hip surgery, notes Matt Calamia on the Rangers’ team site. Head coach Alain Vigneault said that the team is targeting late October for his return to the lineup which would actually put him ahead of schedule from the five months he was expected to miss when he went under the knife in early June. The 25-year-old has six goals and 15 assists in 68 games with New York last season and will push for a bottom-six role when he returns to the lineup.
- Stars center Martin Hanzal is expected to start skating with the Stars on Saturday, reports Mark Stepneski of Stars Inside Edge. The 30-year-old has been out since the start of training camp with an ankle injury. While Dallas has a surplus of centers, head coach Ken Hitchcock suggested earlier this month that it won’t be Hanzal who shifts positions and that it might be Jason Spezza who spends time on the wing instead.