It’s Official: Swayman To Start On Opening Night For Bruins
If there were any lingering doubts about who would be in net when the Boston Bruins drop the puck on the 2021-22 campaign Saturday night at the TD Garden vs. the Dallas Stars, those doubts are no longer.
Swayman made it impossible for Bruce Cassidy to go a different route. The 22-year-old's preseason play was up to the same lofty standards Swayman has displayed throughout his brief professional career.
The Alaska-native stopped 68-of-73 shots in three exhibition games for a .932 save percentage and a 1.99 goals allowed average. This of course after Swayman won seven of his 10 starts with the Bruins down the stretch last season with a .945 sv% and a minuscule 1.50 gaa.
All Swayman has done over the last two full seasons of competitive hockey is shut down the opposition.
In 2019-20, Swayman guided the Black Bears to an 18-11-5 record, including a 48-save shutout vs. #18 Providence College in his final game at Maine, which earned the Black Bears a home playoff series in the Hockey East postseason before the tournament was canceled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Then, in nine games with the Providence Bruins before his initial call-up last year, Swayman turned in a .933 sv% and a 1.89 gaa.
All he has done, regardless of the level, is stop more than nine out of every 10 shots and hold the opponents to fewer than two goals per game.
And it's worth noting that in naming Swayman as the opening day starter, Cassidy is keeping a $20-million dollar goalie on the bench. The B's gave Linus Ullmark a 4-year/$20-million contract this past off-season, but the former-Buffalo Sabre struggled in preseason.
The 28-year-old allowed 10 goals on 62 shots in three exhibition games, with an .839 sv% and a 3.90 gaa.
While there's still the possibility Tuukka Rask returns to the team for the stretch run once he recovers from off-season surgery, it's clear Swayman will be the lead between the pipes for now as the Bruins embark on another cup run.