Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery will take the ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach with his goaltending this season.
Montgomery has confirmed that, unless one of Boston Bruins goalies Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman completely outplays the other, or one is battling an injury, he will use the same rotation in the net that saw the hugging and dynamic duo earn the William Jennings Trophy last season.
“I think it’s the same mindset as last year as far as they’re both going to get games, and they’re both going to get the ability [to play],” the Bruins bench boss told the media on Friday. “We’re not going to ride one guy, that’s for sure.”
Linus Ullmark is coming off a record-breaking season in which he won the 2023 Vezina Trophy. The Boston Bruins goalie was 40-6-1 with a 1.89 GAA and a .938 save percentage in his second season in Black and Gold. Ullmark, 30, led the NHL in wins, goals-against average, and save percentage, becoming just the eighth goalie in NHL history to lead the league in all three categories and the first since Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price did it in 2014-15, in essentially capturing the triple crown for goaltenders.
Despite all his accolades from last season, Ullmark, as well as Swayman, knows that while Montgomery plans to take the same approach as last season, neither goalie is entitled to starts.
“I [can] speak for both of us. It doesn’t matter who’s starting; we still want to keep playing the net, and I always feel like it’s a performance-based type of thing,” he said. “You don’t get games for free. You earned them, and you have to keep earning them.”
Swayman, by the way, is coming off a season that saw him go 24-6-4 with a 2.27 GAA and a .920 save percentage. That earned the 24-year-old netminder a new one-year, $3.47 million contract in arbitration this past July.