BOSTON – After giving backup goaltender Tuukka Rask consecutive starts this week for the first time this season, the Boston Bruins are going to turn back to Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas for a Northeast Division showdown Saturday with Buffalo at TD Garden.
Picking between the man who’s been the world’s best goaltender for more than a season and the club’s promising No. 2 has forced coach Claude Julien and his staff to strike a delicate balance.
“We do [have the world’s best goaltender] and he’s also 37 years old, he also played 111 games last year and all that stuff is taken into context,” Julien said. “We feel comfortable with Tuukka as well in net, that he’s a good goaltender and at the same time you want to make sure that your best goaltender remains your best goaltender by not over-utilizing him and we know as the season goes on we’re going to have to be relying on both of those guys. And we want him to be as fresh or as good as possible near the end of the year. It’s an 82-game schedule and we’re kind of gauging it that way, taking the fact that you’ve got 82 games, you’ve got two goaltenders, you have to do that once in a while. It’s just part of a plan.”
The Bruins held a full morning skate today with everyone except the injured Andrew Ference (lower body) on the ice. Ference is out for tonight and day-to-day with that injury.
Here is the projected lineup for Boston:
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Jordan Caron - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley/Zach Hamill
Benoit Pouliot - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Adam McQuaid - Steven Kampfer
Peverley has missed the last two games and will be a game-time decision with an undisclosed injury.