As the Ottawa Senators prepare to face the divisional rival Boston Bruins on Monday night, no matter which goalie they face in the net they will be going against a ‘tender who has an all-time distinction, at least for the moment.
Among all goaltenders in the history of the NHL, or at least since the started keeping records, Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin has the best goals against average and save percentage of anyone who has appeared in 10 or more games. Now I know that is a very sample size, but it is an impressive distinction nonetheless. In 12 career games, Khudobin has a record of 9-2-0 with a GAA of 1.85 and a SP of .939.
If you want to expand that a bit, take a look at Tuukka Rask. Out of any goaltender with more than 100 games played, Rask is first all time in save % ( .939) and second all time in goals against average (2.19)
As an aside, you would never guess who leads the league in the GAA for those with over 100 games – none other than former Flyers and Kings *ahem* standout Roman Cechmanek. Anyways, back to the Bruins.
Maybe its not so much on the goaltending, but the Bruins’ defensive system that has been in place over the past 10 years, because third on the save percentage list of goalies over 100 starts is (recently sabbaticalized and traded) Tim Thomas.
So either that or the Bruins are really really good at picking up castoff goalies. Most likely its a combination of both.
Thomas was picked up as a free agent after spending the better part of 5 seasons bouncing around Europe and the minors because he couldn’t catch on in Quebec after being a 9th round pick in 1994.
Boston’s embarassment of riches, combined with a little bit of luck and good manangement continues.