Goaltender Tuukka Rask's future in Beantown remains up in the air. To that end, the Bruins secured help in the crease in the form of former Sabres net minder Linus Ullmark, signing him to a $20 million deal this past offseason after he'd spent the first six years of his NHL career with Buffalo.
Meanwhile, second year goaltender Jeremy Swayman is also slated to see time in Boston's net. But according to head coach Bruce Cassidy, don't expect to see an official starter declared just yet.
“Less so than other years because there was a defined No. 1: Tuukka, right?”, Cassidy replied when asked about his team's goaltending schedule. “So we would schedule his 50-54-ish (games) kind of the last couple years and go through the whole calendar. I’m not sure we’ll do that this year in terms of the same way. I think it’ll be more month-to-month, performance-driven. Ullmark’s been in the league. We have to make sure we’re true to giving him time to get his game where it needs to. (Goaltending coach) Bob (Essensa) will deal with that on a regular basis.”
Originally selected by Boston with the 111th overall pick in the 4th round of the 2017 NHL Draft, Swayman got his first taste of NHL action last season. He put together respectable numbers, winning 10 games (seven losses) with an impressive 1.45 goals against average, .945 save percentage and two shutouts.
"Swayman, we know what he can do in a sample size and certainly will get the net and continue to get it if he earns it,” Cassidy said. “So it’s not determined one will be definitely the No. 1 or not. So I think there’s more competition than there ever has been. Like I said, Ullmark is a veteran in this league and we have to be mindful of that and make sure he gets the necessary reps too.”
Ullmark, 163rd overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2012 NHL Draft has appeared in 117 career games, posting a record of 50-47-13 with a 2.78 goals against average, .913 save percentage and three shutouts.