Boston Bruins: Keep Giving the Kid His Shot

Apr 6, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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With Tuukka Rask in the final year of their contract, there is a lot of questions surrounding what the goaltending will look like for the Boston Bruins next season.

Could Rask come back on a short-term deal with the rest of the Bruins against core for another chance at winning a Stanley Cup or does the 34-year-old decide to call it a career?

The decision will ultimately come from Rask, over the summer, but if the veteran goalie does decide to walk away, it appears the netminding duties are in good hands.

Bruins giving Swayman more playing time and it’s the right decision.

Rookie Jeremy Swayman has taken that Bruins net by storm since making his NHL debut on April 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He stopped 40 of the 42 shots fired at him by the Flyers in a 4-2 Bruins victory.

Swayman is 4-1 in his five games this season with a 1.78 goals-against average (GAA) with a .938 save percentage (SV%). He recorded his first career shutout last Friday against the New York Islanders in a 3-0 win. Wednesday, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy announced that Swayman would be back in net tonight against the Sabres.

What makes Swayman impressive so far in his five games is the way he plays in the net. He is aggressive, challenges shooters, and likes to come out and cut down the shooter’s angle. In his one loss to the Flyers on April 10, his aggressiveness got the best in the third period when a goal from Shayne Gostisbehere handed Swayman his only loss in a 3-2 Philadelphia win. That’s going to happen.

Swayman did just about everything a goalie could do in college. In his final season of 2019-20, he was the Hockey East Player of the Year, he won the Walter Brown Award for the top American-born college hockey player in New England and he also won the Hockey East Stop It Goaltending Goaltender of the Year Award. He was also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

A lot of rookie goalies take some time to mature in the minors out of college, but not Swayman. It would be easy to send him back to the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins when Halak returns from COVID-19 protocols, but the kid has earned his spot on the Bruins roster.

Keep giving the young man an opportunity to play, but not overwork him, is the right decision. His swagger is quickly winning over Bruins fans, who have to be excited about the future in net in Boston.