Bruins Swayman Deserves to be a Starter Somewhere

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

It is quite a luxury when an NHL team has two great goaltenders.

This means the team can put in either goaltender and expect the same results. There will not be much dropoff in play, and more importantly, the team will come away with two points more often than not.

That has been the case with the Boston Bruins, the league’s best team by a country mile this season. As of this writing (Sunday, March 26), the Bruins are first in the Atlantic Division and first in the NHL with a 57-11-5 record and 119 points.

While the team has the league’s second-best offense and the league’s best defense, a lot of credit has to go to the play of their goaltenders. Starting goaltender Linus Ullmark, 24, the likely Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s top goaltender in the regular season, is currently 36-5-0-1 with a 1.92 goals-against average, a .937 save percentage, and two shutouts.

The team’s backup goaltender, Jeremy Swayman, has also been stellar for the Bruins this year. He is currently 20-6-0-4 with a 2.21 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage, and four shutouts.

While Ullmark’s numbers have been otherworldly this season, Swayman’s numbers are equally as impressive. He was supposed to be the team’s starting goaltender this season, but Ullmark came in and wowed everyone with his solid and consistent play that it was hard for Swayman to get it back.

Based on the way Swayman, 24, talks to the media and acts with Ullmark on the ice after his team wins a game, it is clear that Swayman is happy to be a Bruin. He loves his goaltending partner, has played well when given the opportunity to do so, and has a chance to end the season with a Stanley Cup ring. If you are Swayman, there is nothing to complain about.

However, Swayman could be a starting goaltender on just about every other team for several reasons. For starters, he knows how to win hockey games.

In 83 NHL games, Swayman is currently 50-23-0-7. He won 23 of his 39 starts last season, and 20 of his 29 starts this season. Simply put, he does not lose a lot of games.

Secondly, Swayman puts up solid statistics. Last season, he posted a 2.41 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage, and had three shutouts, while this season, he currently has a 2.21 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage, and four shutouts.

Lastly, he is posting these great numbers even though he is not even in his prime yet. He will turn just 25 years old in November, and he has already shown that he can be a starting goaltender in this league.

No one is reporting that Swayman wants to leave the Bruins. Heck, he may not even be thinking about something like that right now.

With that said, however, there is no doubt that on any other team in this league, he is a starting goaltender. It will be interesting to see if he will be given a chance to prove it again in the future.

Season 3. Episode 49. Prospects Rankings 26-30 Bruins Benders Podcast

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  1. Season 3. Episode 49. Prospects Rankings 26-30
  2. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  3. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  4. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
  5. Season 3. Episode 45. After the Hugs Are Gone

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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