Certainly the Boston Bruins have been a loaded, deep team this season that has rolled to victory after victory, but perhaps the biggest reason the B’s have avoided prolonged losing streaks this season is because of their outstanding goaltending.
That goaltending turned into one of the biggest reasons they snapped a two-game losing streak on Thursday night behind Jeremy Swayman’s 35-save shutout in a 3-0 Boston Bruins win over the Winnipeg Jets at the Canada Life Centre. Swayman was brilliant in all three periods, stopping over 10 shots in each of his three periods of work and helping the B’s kill off five Winnipeg power plays, even if he was aided by a crossbar here or a fortunate post there.
— x – Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 17, 2023
There were quality chances for a desperate Jets teams fighting for their playoff lives, and Swayman turned them away at every turn after the Bruins scratched for an early lead scoring less than a minute into the first period. Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery went so far as to call it Swayman’s best game of the season afterward, which is no understatement given where the B’s were after losing three of their previous four games.
“He was terrific,” said Jim Montgomery. “That might have been his best game of the year…and he’s had a lot of good ones.
“The goaltenders were not excused from needing a reset. I think our whole team needed a reset, and our goalies are a huge part of the success we’ve had all year and our team went into a little bit of a funk there, hopefully we’re done with it.”
Certainly, it was a big game for Swayman as well, as he was experiencing his own two-game losing streak and is just 5-3-0 since the NHL All-Star break. His eighth career shutout and 47th career win puts him in pretty rarified air amongst Boston Bruins franchise goaltenders under the age of 25 years old, with only Frank Brimsek and Tuukka Rask living in that neighborhood as well.
“We expect a lot out of ourselves each night and it’s really special to get this bounce back win,” said Swayman. “It was a good team win…we’re excited about it.”
There have obviously been plenty of plaudits for Linus Ullmark, and rightfully so given that he’s the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy while leading the NHL in wins, goals against average and save percentage. Swayman is not too shabby as well with a 2.28 goals against average and .917 save percentage this season, and they have combined for an NHL-leading 2.16 goals against average and .929 save percentage that’s going to earn them a Jennings Trophy when it’s all said and done this season as well.