The Bruins organization by nature has been a very secretive bunch. When they report an injury, it’s usually “lower body” as opposed to “ankle, groin, etc”. They do a rather marvelous job keeping sportswriters and bloggers in the dark. It is one of those traits I find both endearing and frustrating. So, when the Bruins go out of their way to make an unusual move in the franchise, one has to suppose that there is something more going on.
The Bruins have two very healthy goaltenders right now in their organization. Tuukka Rask (19-8-2/3 SO, 1.87GAA, .936 save percentage) and Chad Johnson (6-2-0, 2.40GAA, .911 save percentage) have done an outstanding job for a Bruins team that on occasion have needed their goaltenders to save them from themselves. So, Claude Julien and the Bruins called up Niklas Svedberg to act as Rask’s back up in the crease tonight. They have even go so far as to suggest that Svedberg could be the net minder for the Ottawa half of the Sens-Bruins home and home series. Coach Claude Julien said he was keeping a promise to Svedberg they made to him at the end of training camp.
So, three healthy goaltenders in Boston. Well, that’s a little unusual. Don’t get me wrong, Svedberg was my first choice to be Rask’s back up during training camp. I (like many of you) was disappointed when the Bruins chose to hire Johnson rather than give Svedberg his shot after they lost Anton Khudobin to the Carolina Hurricanes. So the Bruins will be running with three healthy goaltenders in Boston. So, what gives Peter Chiarelli?
My guess is that they’re actively shopping a back up goalie. There are several teams that still have considerable trouble with a consistent presence in net. While the Bruins staff happily mention that Svedberg has earned a shot at the big game(and he has), it’s just odd to showcase a new back up goaltender in the middle of the season. The organization knows the quality they have in Johnson. They could be seeing if anyone is interested in the Bruins number two goaltender. If they’re trying to shop Svedberg, they’ll need to show his quality at the NHL level.
I’d love to be wrong on this one. I’d be thrilled to find out that the Bruins are just flexing their muscle and showcasing the depth we have in the organization with our goaltenders. The team looks like they’ve got strong forwards and solid blueliners. Maybe they’re shopping around for high draft picks in the future. Who knows? The Bruins are masters of keeping stuff under the radar, and it could just be a really deep shell game they are playing with the rest of the league.