It was a rough night for prospect Malcolm Subban in net, as the Red Wings pounded him in their 8-2 win over the Bruins at TD Garden. Subban allowed four goals through two periods, though just one was his fault. But in the third period, the wheels came off.
“No matter what I did, the pucks just found its way in,” Subban said. “Some bad bounces, but I didn’t do my part tonight.”
His teammates and coach came to the defense of the 19-year-old, blaming a leaky defense that often wasn’t where it was supposed to be.
“We can’t hesitate against that team,” defenseman Matt Bartkowski said. “With the skill they have and the passers they have, everything, you just can’t give them the extra half-second or so because they’re going to capitalize.
“We hung him out to dry on countless occasions — two on ones, odd-man rushes. They got shots, we didn’t pick up anybody in front. That’s another thing we’ve got to bear down and work on. You can’t fault him for anything tonight. It doesn’t matter if it was his first game or his 50th, we left him out to dry.”
Coach Claude Julien said he didn’t consider pulling Subban until after the seventh goal, but at that point there was 6:32 left in the game, and he wasn’t prepared to put a cold goalie into the game, risking an injury.
“We wanted him to fight through it,” Julien said. “This is a good learning thing for a goaltender, to see that this is what he’s going to be facing. He’s got to fight through those situations.
“It was one of those nights that, unfortunately, I think our guys in front of him certainly left him out to dry a little bit. I thought we made some real bad mistakes.”
Will the loss affect his confidence?
“I’m not looking at it that way,” Subban said. “I’m looking at it a positive way. It’s probably a good thing, now I can be more focused obviously and start the game better. Going down, 2-0, pretty early like that didn’t help.”
Asked whether he was fully focused, Subban said, “No, I guess when you let in eight goals, focus probably isn’t there all the way. I guess I thought I was focused, but obviously not. I’ve got to be better the next opportunity I get.”
Bruins right wing Nick Johnson scored his third goal in two preseason games.Amalie Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.