Peter Budaj hasn’t played a game since March 12th when he gave up 4 goals on 32 shots against the Bruins at the Bell Centre. He wasn’t very good that night, and hadn’t been very good in his four starts before that.
Armed with that information, logic would say Carey Price should be the one to go against the Bruins Monday night at TD Garden in an effort to stop Boston’s twelve game winning streak.
Nope. Budaj is back in.
Some things to consider. Price has played in and, won more games against Boston than any other NHL team but he hasn’t won in Boston since October 27, 2011. In three starts there over the last two years he is 0-2-0 with a no-decision. The no-decision came when Price gave up four on 26 shots and Budaj replaced him with Boston leading 4-2 in the second period. Budaj gave up a goal in the final 23 minutes and the Canadiens came back to win in a shootout.
It’s in Boston where Budaj thrives. All four of his career wins against the Bruins have been at TD Garden. With the Habs he is 3-0-0 and in his only Boston start with Colorado he shut them out. All tolled, in four career appearances in Boston, Budaj has allowed five goals for a 1.48 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.
Still, the second-guessers were out in full force when Michel Therrien started him the Canadiens last game in Boston January 30th. They had a right to grumble. Budaj came into the game on the heels of six straight league losses and hadn’t started in nine games. He reacted by stopping 34 of 35 shots for a 4-1.
The Peter Budaj Boston Garden Log
Goals Shots TOI Score
March 7/2007 0 21 60 Colorado win 2-0
March 3/2013 3 34 60 Canadiens win 4-3
March 24/2013 1 24 23:42 Canadiens win 6-5 (shootout)
January 30/2014 1 35 60 Canadiens win 4-1
Total (4GP) 5 114 203:42 (Record 4-0-0)
One other thing. Tuukka Rask was pulled from the January 30th game after giving up 3 goals on 18 shots. He has a career record of 3-10-2 against the Habs, his worst showing against any team in the league.
And as a pre-game appetizer’s we’ve found this. During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Budaj was a Colorado Avalanche prospect and playing for their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. On Nov. 12, 2004, Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, hosted the Bears. There was a brawl behind the teams’ benches and players and referees departed for the dressing rooms leaving only Budaj and Providence goaltender Hannu Toivonen on the ice. Watch this. Budaj is in white.