Jeremy Swayman certainly is earning the confidence of his Boston Bruins teammates, and it seems veteran winger Brad Marchand is among them.
Swayman, the rookie goaltender who was playing in only his second career game, stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced Thursday helping the Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals. It was the second consecutive win for the Bruins with the 22-year-old net minder playing between the pipes.
“Well, we heard that he was a great goalie, obviously shoot on him practice, but it’s a whole different situation in a game at this level,” Marchand said on a postgame video conference. “He’s as advertised.”
His performance against the Capitals on Thursday came just two days after Swayman recorded his first-ever win against the Philadelphia Flyers. He made an incredible 40 saves on 42 shots Tuesday night against the Flyers, too.
“He competes very hard. Phenomial kid off the ice, great to be around, and he’s a great goalie,” Marchand said. “He’s quick. He competes. He seems to have great position. It’s great that he’s stepping up at a time like this, same with (Dan Vladar). When you have your two top goalies out (Tuukka Rask injury, Jaro Halak COVID-19 protocols), for guys to come in and play the way those two have it’s huge for our group.”
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy expressed how he believes Swayman, specifically, is helping the confidence of his teammates due to his demeanor on the ice. Swayman, as he explained Tuesday night, seems to have a relaxed mindset as he, perhaps more than anything, is just enjoying the opportunity to be out on the ice.
“I think they would (feed off it). If I was in that position, I would,” Cassidy said on a postgame video conference. “If I knew the goalie back there was having a good time, ready to bail you out — because you’re the last line of defense when you’re playing (defense), so your mistakes get magnified. â¦ So yes, I think it absolutely does have an affect on any young player when you see a guy back there that’s ready to do his part and more to help you out, and get the game back on track.”
Marchand acknowledged how the team is feeling confident despite the fact Vladar, 23, and Swayman, 22, have been those between the posts.
“It gives us confidence to play in front of them. When we have a breakdown we know they’re going to be there to back us up, and that’s what you need,” Marchand said. “You need to rely on your goaltender to be your best player and they have been the last few games.”
The Bruins will return to the ice Saturday afternoon against the Flyers.