BRIGHTON, MA – Like injured players Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand before him, Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman is “ahead of schedule” while coming back from a lower body injury. The 23-year-old netminder has been out since Nov. 1 with a suspected knee injury after this nasty play where his leg slammed hard into the post but practiced on Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena along with fellow goalies Linus Ullmark and Keith Kinkaid.
Swayman’s down and coming out of the game. Looks like Bergeron’s skate hit Sway’s left leg mid split forcing it to hyperextend. Not putting any pressure on his left leg. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/2MSGmfaZ6o
— Mr. Tenkrat (@PeterTenkrat) November 2, 2022
Interestingly, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery didn’t rule out Swayman from playing later this week with games on Thursday and Saturday and said much would depend on how the goalie responds tomorrow to practicing for the first time. Either way it doesn’t appear that Swayman will need a rehab appearance in Providence after not playing for the last couple of weeks while recuperating from the injury.
“Swayman is ahead of schedule and he’s starting to check boxes. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” said Montgomery. “Linus is playing too many games. I think that he leads the league in games played, so we want to get Swayman back in there as soon as possible. I’m not sure [about playing this week], we’ll know more tomorrow.”
Ullmark leads the NHL with 11 wins this season, and is tied with Seattle’s Martin Jones and LA’s Jonathan Quick for the league lead with 13 games played this season. Swayman said he was definitely concerned when the injury first happened but was blown away by both the Pittsburgh medical staff treating him immediately afterward and then his own teammates taking care of him while he was on a long train ride back to Boston.
“I feel really good, and I’m really excited to be back with these guys,” said Swayman, who said he underwent an MRI in Pittsburgh that was obviously clean of any serious knee injury. “It all started with the Pittsburgh medical staff really, treating me like I was one of their own and getting me in the right direction.
“Then Scotty Waugh and the crew here [in Boston] took over and I couldn’t be in better hands. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this organization and the care that they have for their players. It means a lot to us players and I couldn’t be happier to be back. I’ve never been carried off the ice before and I never want to [do that] again.”
Swayman added that Nick Foligno texted him on his trip back to Boston as the Boston Bruins players traveled to New York city for a game against the New York Rangers and arranged for his wife to drop off chicken soup, turkey meatballs and all kinds of other goodies for the young Boston Bruins goaltender as he nursed his injury.
“I got so many good things to say about that guy,” said Swayman of Foligno. “He texted me and asked for my address and said that his wife had a ton of food for me, and she was going to drop if off. When I got home there was a gallon-and-a-half of homemade chicken soup, like 30 turkey meatballs and a bunch of peppers and cookies and stuff. It brought me to tears almost.
“It was really amazing. The character he has is something I’ll remember and that I’m going to pass on for my whole career.”
In other news, Derek Forbort returned to ice skating on his own ahead of Boston Bruins practice but still remains out for the next couple of weeks. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci were missing from the practice ice on Tuesday as well, but those absences were chalked up to maintenance days with several practice days in a row prior to Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.