To put it mildly, Malcolm Subban was not very good last night. Following a solid first period, Subban gave up three goals on three shots and was replaced by Tuukka Rask. Rask, who had played in 24 of the last 25 games for the Bruins, was looking to get the night off, but that was clearly not the case. Subban, who was taken 24th overall in the 2012 draft, has spent most of this season with the AHL Providence Bruins. Many thought that he was ready and could be a serviceable backup to Tuukka after Svedberg's disastrous showings. The young goalie received his first chance last night against the St. Louis Blues, one of the best teams in the NHL. The Bruins desperately needed two points to try and hold onto their 1 point lead of 8th seed from the Florida Panthers. Unfortunately, Malcolm could not lift the falling Bruins. But were the goals actually Subban's fault?
In short, yes. But it is important to look at each goal and articulate if it was solely Subban's fault or a mixture of their ailing defense. The first goal, scored by Petteri Lindbohm at 48 seconds, went right off of Malcolm's glove and trickled into the net. It was clear that Subban should have made that stop. The second goal, scored by Alex Pietrangelo at 4 minutes and 16 seconds, was a deflected shot but still looked like a somewhat easy save. The third and final goal, scored by T.J. Oshie at 5 minutes and 9 seconds, was an absolute rocket that Subban had little chance of saving.
Subban is clearly not ready to be a starting goaltender, never mind one on a team that has hopes, while they may be slim, to make a deep playoff run. However, that does not mean that the Bruins should completely give up on Malcolm Subban or immediately send him back down to Providence. If the Bruins do not get a backup goaltender before the Trade Deadline, then I think it would be in the best interest of both the Bruins and Subban to keep him up with the big club. Making a spot start while Tuukka takes most of the games would be perfect for the young goaltender. If anything, they are also showing possible trade partners that they have confidence in Subban.
Although Subban had a very tough night, he still has a very bright future. It is extremely important for fans and Bruins brass alike to not overreact to one start. The goalie may not be ready, but that does not mean he is broken.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS