( Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY )

By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26

Ahead of the Boston Bruins’ game four matchup against the Florida Panthers this afternoon, there has been strong consideration from the coaching staff to start goaltender Jeremy Swayman. Before game three, Linus Ullmark was noted as a game-time decision as he has been dealing with a nagging injury. Fortunately for the Bruins, the Swedish goaltender went on to make 28 saves and looked confident in Boston’s 4-2 victory over the Panthers on Friday.

Despite Ullmark’s outstanding performance in game three, per Conor Ryan of Boston.com, Bruins’ head coach Jim Montgomery stated that Swayman could be a possibility for Boston.

“There are thoughts of going with Jeremy,” Montgomery said Saturday. “Just because one — Jeremy is excellent. And two — after tomorrow’s game, there are [two] days between the next ones, Games 4 and 5. They’ve gone to the rink and when they get back, I’ll huddle with [Bruins goalie coach Bob Essensa], and he’ll let me know.”

Luckily for the Bruins, Swayman is no stranger to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as he was the starter for most of Boston’s first-round matchup versus the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2022 playoffs. Swayman was inserted into the lineup in last year’s playoffs after the Bruins lost the opening two games. Swayman ultimately helped Boston force a seventh game before the Hurricanes eliminated them. The Alaskan native was strong in his first playoff appearance, as he posted a .911 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.63 through five games. For a player that was a rookie at the time, Boston fans had to be impressed with Swayman’s performance, given the team was down 2-0 in the series.

Ullmark and Swayman, throughout the 2022-23 season, shared the net and propelled the Bruins to the franchise’s fourth Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s best regular-season team. As a result of their success, Ullmark and Swayman deservingly won the William M. Jennings Trophy as the NHL’s leading goaltending tandem that allowed the least number of goals in the regular season. 

Ullmark had an incredible regular season for Boston and will likely win the Vezina Trophy, but some of his success should also be attributed to the play of Swayman. The two goaltenders constantly fed off one another’s play in the regular season, with each goalie having at least a .920 save percentage and only six regulation losses each this year. Hopefully, the Bruins goaltenders will be able to carry this trend deep into the playoffs and continue to create NHL history.

As mentioned previously, there is a concern surrounding the health of Ullmark. Through all the injuries that the Bruins have sustained through the opening three Stanley Cup Playoff games, including captain Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, Boston’s lineup has shown perseverance in the absence of key players. Today will be no different for the team with or without Ullmark in the net, as they have the best goalie tandem in the NHL with Swayman behind them.

The official starting lineup won’t be released until we approach puck drop at 3:30 PM. Regardless of who takes the net for the Bruins today, the team has a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, with the series heading back to Boston for game five on Wednesday night.