Yeah, so about that Malcolm Subban start? Ouch. That one stings.
So where do we begin?
Well first, the tale of the tape: Malcolm Subban has a rough 4.55 goals against average to go along with an .846 save percentage in the AHL this season. Zane McIntyre however has been outplaying Subban by quite a bit with the Baby B’s by posting a ridiculous 0.44 goals against average paired with a .977 save percentage. Not much of a comparison there. But with his 1st round draft pick pedigree, and his Subban DNA, some external factors obviously played into him getting the start tonight. Clearly Zane McIntyre was more deserving of the start by his recent play.
Secondly, there’s the quality of the goals scored on Subban tonight. I actually wasn’t overly bothered by the goaltending on the first two. I was more bothered by Subban struggling to glove an easy pillow in the first period, which had me thinking the meltdown may happen.
On the first goal he was stuck looking through a seas of legs and never really saw the puck until it clipped him as it just squeezed through:
Had he been able to track the puck clearly I’d like to think that one stays out.
On the second goal Subban was hung out to dry thanks to some atrocious defense:
Chris Stewart was allowed to hang out all alone in the slot with about a week an a half to read this blog, smoke a cigarette, and still uncork a one-timer stick side.
But none of that excuses the third goal. It was ugly:
That is a must save by NHL standards (with no disrespect to Ryan Suter’s laser). Regardless of any opinion on the quality of the first two goals the third goal was the moment where a goalie steps up and makes the save. It’s when the goalie stops the bleeding, forgets the first two, and shows his team he can handle it as they work to cut the lead to 2-1.
Instead that third goal had the look of a lost goalie. Maybe a bit defeated after being on the wrong end of some breakdowns in front of him. Maybe his head was starting to drift back to eerily similar memories of his NHL debut in St. Louis. But he was defeated. Not to mention, the Bruins were clearly in “oh fuck, here we go again” mode of giving up the first couple goals of EVERY game. They were shell shocked. Adam McQuaid’s terrible penalty that led to the back breaking Suter goal was proof everything was coming off the rails.
And thirdly, the whole situation sucks for everyone. Neither goalie on the bench tonight is ready to be on an NHL roster but injuries forced their hand. And Malcolm Subban, who may join the growing list of Peter Chiarelli’s bad first round draft selections, is quickly finding out what it takes to be an NHL starter and the kid may not have the goods. You just hope for his own personal confidence that he doesn’t completely fall apart. Maybe a change of scenery would help his mental toughness going forward but that may not save his play. The problem with a change of scenery is his trade value is going down as fast as the temperature in Providence. The then prized prospect was once the Bruins best trade asset. Now what would they get for him? A new custom mask for Zane McIntyre and a keg of Natty Light? You also have to wonder if his injury last year (fractured larynx) is eating at him mentally. It’s like a baseball pitcher getting hit in the head by a line drive and having to get back on that mound to face more bullets.
At some point you are what you are. I’m an average blogger who knows hockey, likes whisky, and looks halfway decent. I’m a perfect fit in the AHL of life. I accept that. Maybe Subban needs to settle into what he really is too. Hopefully for him there is more to look forward to in his career and this is just a rough patch. But when you look at the 6th round draft pick in Zane McIntyre sharing the crease with him it just doesn’t look like that’s the case. It looks like McIntyre and the next waiver wire or PTO goalie the Bruins pull from the beer leagues are holding down the fort until Tuukka Rask returns.
Oh and hey, to the rest of team… you’re not off the hook here just because a goalie stunk up the joint. Maybe scoring a goal or two first would help out whatever warm body is playing in net. 6 games played now, 6 games a team not called the Bruins scored first. And in four of those games the other team scored the second goal as well. Just a thought.