Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was not thrilled with the amount of work Jeremy Swayman had Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Swayman faced 42 shots in his NHL debut at Wells Fargo Center, including 25 shots in the second period alone.
“It was about this young guy going in, playing his first NHL game basically standing on his head to keep us in the game,” Cassidy said regarding his second-intermission message for the team during a video conference after the Bruins’ 4-2 win. “The guys that have NHL talent need to provide NHL effort with that talent in the checking game, managing pucks. And guys that aren’t at the same level of NHL talent then they have to work on their NHL execution and make good reads and decisions.”
Fortunately, that was the case in the third period as the Bruins allowed just four shots on goal. Swayman concluded the game making 40 saves on those 42 shots, turning away all four shots he faced in the third, en route to his first career win.
“He deserved much better support than we gave him, and he eventually got it in the third,” Cassidy said. “And I’m happy for him. He got his first NHL win. Certainly earned it. Important game for us. So, good for Sway.”
Patrice Bergeron, who helped Swayman by scoring three goals on the opposite end to the ice, was equally as happy for the 22-year-old goaltender.
“He was great. Really happy for him, a well-deserved win,” Bergeron said. “He was battling all night. He gave us a true chance to win, especially in the second period. That poise was evident from the get-go, from the way he prepared in the locker room — he looked ready, he looked calm and he was the same way on the ice. So, good for him and hopefully many more to come.”
Swayman was the fourth goaltender to play for the Bruins this season. He got the starting spot with Jaroslav Halak out with COVID-19 and Tuukka Rask hurt. Dan Vladar, who made his NHL debut last month, played the first leg of the back-to-back Monday, which prompted the Bruins to give Swayman a look Tuesday.
Two young goaltenders — Swayman (22) and Vladar (23) — each recorded their first career win within the last three weeks. Swayman, a 2017 fourth-round pick, is 8-1 in Providence this season with a .933 save percentage.
“Yeah, I think it’s great to see,” Bergeron said. “It’s one of those positions that’s, I think it’s needless to say it’s very important, probably the most important position in hockey. And we’ve been fortunate in my time here with some amazing goalies. It seems like the future is bright so it’s always a great sign.”
Swayman was just as thrilled with the opportunity, and the win itself.
“… I absolutely love this game and to do it at the biggest stage with the best players in the world, how can you not love doing that? So, it was fun. It was fun,” Swayman said.
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