Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14
BOSTON –  Claude Julien knows a shortened season will provide some unusual circumstances that may lead to some unusual coaching decisions. But in terms of divvying up goaltending responsibilities, the Bruins head coach isn’t thinking too far ahead. Tuukka Rask got his second start in as many games on Monday for the B’s matinee tilt with the  Winnipeg Jets, but it’s clear that keeping Rask fresh (and healthy) will be vital to the team’s success. Just as importantly will be ensuring that backup goaltender, Anton Khudobin, stays sharp. Julien says that job falls on Khudobin just as much as it does on the coaching staff. “I think at the end of the day, that becomes his responsibility versus ours,” Julien said before the Bruins’ shootout win over the Jets on Monday. “We’ve got to do what’s best for the team, and they have to adjust to what their roles are, and what they need to do, and that’s why he’s worked a lot after practice, and done extra to stay sharp, because when we put him in, we expect him to be good.” What’s been best for the team so far is starting Rask. The Finnish netminder has given up just two goals in two game — both wins — and came up big on Monday afternoon in the shootout. But there will obviously come a time when Julien needs to turn to Khudobin — perhaps as early as this week — and there’s no reason to believe the 26-year-old won’t be ready. “The good part is he did play in Russia in the KHL this year, so he’s had some games under his belt,” Julien said. “That’s always good to see from goaltenders, because that’s probably the most important part of this situation right now. How often they play makes a big difference.” But the shortened season does make things a little complicated in terms of breaking up the work. The B’s have gotten lucky, relatively speaking at least, in the season’s first month. They don’t play back-to-back games until Feb. 9 and 10, and that includes a two-day (this weekend) and a three-day break (Feb. 3-5) in the next few weeks. That will probably allow Julien to stick with Rask early on and allow the No. 1 goalie to get into a groove. We’ll see Khudobin sooner than later to keep him fresh as well, but in the early going, it seems pretty favorable. It also keeps Julien from getting too far ahead of himself, which is something he pledges not to do when it comes to his goalies. “I’m more of a week-to-week, or two-weeks-to-two-weeks kind of coach versus the whole year,” he added. “There’s no doubt we want to see Tuukka play more than Khudobin will because he’s our No. 1, and hopefully that happens, but it’s hard for to say ‘x’ number of games versus ‘x’ number of games.” Things may get more difficult after the first few weeks, though. Obviously an injury will complicate things, but so will the schedule. March will be a make-or-break month, not only given its importance as the start of the season’s second half, but it also figures to be a gut-check month for the B’s. Boston plays 17 games in March, including  four pairs of back-to-backs. Starting March 11, the Bruins enter a stretch of five games in seven days. However, if Rask can continue to play the way he’s been playing and Khudobin lives up to expectations (not to mention both stay healthy), that will obviously make Julien’s balancing act will be much easier.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Bucs veterans missing Jameis while he's at rookie symposium

WATCH: Josh Hamilton hits first two homers of the season

Did Andrew Bogut take a shot at Mark Jackson?

$70 million Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the NBA title, the parade will be for Oakland

SEC no longer allows transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Klay Thompson officially diagnosed with concussion

Snoop Dogg hooks Texas A&M up with adidas cleats

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

Metta World Peace gets ejected after five fouls in one minute

On satellite camps and the SEC crying over its self-protections

Four NFL quarterbacks set to take a step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still's daughter has complications with transplant

$70M Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the title, the parade will be for Oakland

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.