BRIGHTON, Mass – After missing the last two potential starts sandwiched around Thanksgiving with an injury that cropped up, Linus Ullmark is expected to get back into the net for Sunday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Ullmark tweaked something last Wednesday morning that precluded him from starting against the Sabres ahead of Thanksgiving, so rookie Jeremy Swayman made two consecutive starts around Turkey Day. Swayman stopped 50-of-55 shots while splitting the two games against the Sabres and New York Rangers, and now Ullmark insists that he’s healthy and ready to go against the Canucks.
“I feel great…back in business and ready to play,” said Ullmark, who is 6-4-0 with a 2.42 goals against average and a .908 save percentage this season. “It was nothing really that happened that [Wednesday] morning. It was something earlier that I thought would be better in that morning at practice, but it wasn’t good enough [to play] basically. The sensible decision was to step away from it, do some rehab and get treatment to be ready for the future.”
A new and improved Ullmark is also sporting new pads with the Boston skyline at the bottom of the leg pads, and on both his glove and blocker as well. It’s an interesting development given that Ullmark already had new goalie pads with the Black and Gold Bruins colors back in September, but now he’s added some more Boston flavor to them moving forward.
“I just wanted to do something. Obviously, I had a really bad marbleization the last couple of years,” said Ullmark of his pads. “But I just wanted to do something that was Boston. So instead of doing a Boston logo, I kind of went for the skyline instead.”
Linus Ullmark’s new pads. The man who puts the “Hub” in the Hub of Hockey. pic.twitter.com/38embdESxi
— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) November 27, 2021
In addition to Ullmark getting the start against Vancouver, it also looks like both Erik Haula and Jake DeBrusk could be on the outside looking in after rough efforts against the Rangers on Friday afternoon. Haula was a defensive liability on the ice for a pair of goals against vs. New York and has just one goal on the season while DeBrusk has been scoreless in his last three games.
Instead, Trent Frederic was centering the third line at B’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena and it looked like Karson Kuhlman would be drawing into the lineup as well.
“We’re looking at some different combinations, obviously. Maybe tomorrow is the right time. We’ll make that decision [on Sunday],” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “We’d like to reward the effort players. Freddy could bring a little more of a motor to the middle of the ice and [Kuhlman] played hard, I thought, and effective hockey when was in [the lineup].
“Maybe it’s time for them to go back in and appreciate their spot in the lineup and work hard to try to keep themselves in there. Maybe it just becomes an effective, hard-working line?”
With all that in mind, here’s the potential lineup for Sunday night vs. Vancouver based on the needed lineup changes: