WILMINGTON, Mass. — The competition for the Boston Bruins’ backup goalie job should be among the most intense position battles in training camp and the preseason.
Zane McIntyre will be among the goaltenders at the center of that competition, along with Malcolm Subban and Jeremy Smith. Another player recently was added to the mix with Jonas Gustavsson going to camp on a professional tryout.
There’s quite a logjam in net, but McIntyre knows it’s part of the business.
“You understand the beast you’re going to deal with signing a pro contract and going from there,” McIntyre said Thursday after rookie camp conditioning tests. “You understand that there’s competition on a daily basis, and I think that’s where a lot of people will really shine. If you get pushed, you get pushed to the next level, and you can show your true colors and everything.
“I think this will be a good test for everyone here. You look at any position, goaltending, the defensive corps here, forwards, we got a bunch of guys pushing for spots and competing for spots, which will be pretty special.”
McIntyre, who will take part in the rookie tournament that begins Saturday, was a tremendous goaltender at North Dakota and ended his college career with a Hobey Baker Award nomination last season. As a junior, he went 29-10-3 with a .929 save percentage and a 2.05 GAA, and his North Dakota team lost to Boston University in the Frozen Four at TD Garden. He signed with the Bruins over the summer after being a sixth-round draft pick by Boston in 2010.
McIntyre has as good a chance as anyone to win the backup job. The 23-year-old is technically sound in net, well-positioned in the crease, athletic and doesn’t let bad goals bother him. His lack of NHL experience is a concern, but aside from Gustavsson, the other goalies competing for this role are just as inexperienced.
?Right now, just trying to control what I can control, and go out there and have a good time and really just play hockey,? McIntyre said. ?That?s the best part about it. That?s the beauty of the sport and everything. You get to compete with a lot of friends you know and also a lot of guys you will be playing against. So, it will be pretty tough as well.?
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images