Boston Bruins Player Grades 2023-24: Linus Ullmark

For the second year in a row, the Bruins rolled out the goaltender tandem, but how did the veteran of the two handle it?
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two / Rich Gagnon/GettyImages

For the second season in a row, the Boston Bruins finished their preseason with two very talented, very qualified, and foundational goaltenders. The question the media kept pressing head coach Jim Montgomery for answers on was "who's the real starter?"

Instead, for the second year in a row, they rolled out the goalies as a duo. Not any singular starter, but as a pair that would share games.

This was a role that took veteran Linus Ullmark (and the fans) by surprise. Ullmark had played well the season before, he was the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, and fellow netminder Jeremy Swayman was just learning the ropes in the league.

Ullmark, instead of immediately demanding a trade to one of the teams he would waive his no trade clause to, he took the young goaltender under his wing for the season and helped him get ready for big situations - even yielding some of his own time in net for the younger Swayman when he needed additional time to rest. He even blocked a trade to the Los Angeles Kings twice in order to stay in Boston.

Ullmark's regular season stats

Throughout the regular season, Ullmark truly did split the time on the ice with Swayman, almost evenly in fact.

Ullmark played in 40 games, starting in 39 of them. Throughout that time he won 22 games, lost 10 in regulation and lost seven in overtime. He also made 1,104 saves on 1,207 shots giving him a save percentage of .915 and a goals against average of 2.57.

While the numbers were up (not in a good way) from 2022-23, he did tie his career-high in shutouts with two.

Ullmark's postseason stats

Ullmark didn't factor much into the postseason, as he only played in two games, and really it was more of making an appearance in one, and coming up short in another.

The game he played the most time in was Game 2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs where he went the whole way and made 31 saves on 34 shots in a losing effort where he allowed the game-winning goal halfway through the period.

Ullmark's next appearance came against the Florida Panthers on May 8, where he came on in relief of Swayman. He allowed two goals on 10 shots in 18:32 of ice time.

Overall in the playoffs, Ullmark was 0-1-0 with 3.90 GAA and .886 save percentage.

Overall assessment

Overall, Ullmark's season was good, but nowhere near as good as it was the year before. He played the role of a true backup goalie in the past season.

Rumors surrounding Ullmark are that he is willing to waive his no trade clause, and Boston may trade him to their division rivals: the Ottawa Senators. What they will be after in that trade, is another story.

Ullmark has a very manageable caphit of $5 million, and is signed through next season. If he were to stay, it's a manageable contract to take on, if not, it's an easy pill to swallow if the Bruins were forced to eat his salary for one more season.

Grade: A-