The Bruins should start Ullmark in Game 6 instead of Swayman

The focal point of the entire series on Boston's side of things has mostly been around the goaltending, here's why it should go the opposite way of how it's been recently.
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Two / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

Going into their opening series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins faced the conundrum of starting of starting one goaltender throughout the series and riding the hot hand or going against the grain and play with a rotation, much like they did in the regular season. To start the series, they appeared to do the latter: starting Jeremy Swayman in Game One, and starting Linus Ullmark in Game Two.

Swayman had an excellent game to open the series, leading the Bruins to a 5-1 victory all while stopping 35 shots and earning first-star status for his performance. In a surprising move to fans, head coach Jim Montgomery went with Ullmark in the next game, and he too turned away 30-plus shots; however, he did let in the go-ahead goal and since then Montgomery has played Swayman in every game since then.

Going into Game Six and the potential of a repeat of 2023 where Boston was up 3-1 and the series wound up going seven games on the line, it might be time for a change in net and Ullmark should be the one in between the pipes on Thursday night.

Why should Ullmark get the start?

The first reason that Ullmark should get the start is that Swayman needs a break. Swayman is 25-years-old and is in his first year leading the team in games played and it's also his first year leading the goaltending room in the playoffs. That's a lot on a young kids shoulders.

Not only is it a good opportunity to give Swayman some rest, but it's a win-win for the Bruins. If Montgomery plays Ullmark and he mucks it up (somehow), the worst case scenario is actually a good scenario for Boston. The Bruins will have one game to spare and it is Game 7 which will be played at the TD Garden, which many former Maple Leafs players have described as a tough place play.

Another reason it benefits Boston to have Ullmark play is that gives him the confidence he needs going into the next if he does play well.

Playing devil's advocate here, let's say Ullmark comes in and pitches a 40-save shutout and the Bruins win on the road. It gives them a sense of knowing that they can do it, and they really do have the goalie tandem they thought they had all season. It also gives Ullmark a sense that Montgomery trusts him in tough spots.

In short: play Ullmark. If he doesn't play well, you have one more game to go and Swayman is rested for the next one. If he does play well, then you have a confident goaltender going into the next round.

There are many things that Montgomery could overthink going into Game 6, much like he did in the game before, but this is not one of them. He almost looks like a genius either way, the only thing that would make him look dumb would be a Game Seven loss; however, if he starts Ullmark Thursday night, chances are, it won't get that far.

Puck drop on Thursday is at 8:00 p.m. from Toronto on TBS, Max and NESN.