Bruins Notes: Bruce Cassidy Defends Jeremy Swayman After Loss

Swayman made 20 saves in the loss

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It took three games for Jeremy Swayman to suffer his first NHL loss, but Bruce Cassidy has no qualms with how his goaltender played.

The rookie netminder turned away 20 of the 23 shots he faced Saturday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center as the Boston Bruins fell 3-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Swayman, more than anything, was the victim of bad luck.

The first goal he allowed was off a rebound after he turned away a clapper from the point. The second was a Shayne Gostisbehere redirect as the defenseman dashed to the net. The third came on a defensive breakdown that allowed for Sean Couturier to score the ultimate winner on a basically empty net.

“The goals they scored, can’t fault Swayman,” the Bruins head coach said after the game.

“His style is to be aggressive,” Cassidy said about the third goal. “He’s challenging the shooter, so no issues there. … I don’t mind him being aggressive, he’ll learn what he can get away with and what he can’t.”

Swayman’s college goalie coach, Alfie Michaud, actually mentioned that aggressiveness in a conversation with NESN.com Friday. At times, it’ll be a real useful asset for the young goalie. But, as Cassidy mentioned, with time he’ll see when he can be aggressive and when it’s best to stay put.

Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Flyers game:

— Cassidy didn’t have much of an issue with the Bruins’ effort in the loss.

“I liked our effort. We lost another defenseman early, that’s happened to us a lot this year, so you’re leaning on other guys,” Cassidy said. “We had a few breakdowns and they converted on them.”

— David Pastrnak is on a bit of a dry spell right now.

Moved between the second and first lines — he played on both Saturday — he’s been scoring more inconsistently than usual.

Pastrnak had two goals last Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and those are the only goals he’s had in his last 10 games.

“He missed some time at the start, probably chasing it a little bit,” Cassidy said. “A couple of COVID breaks probably doesn’t help those guys that missed time. Seemed like a lot of pucks bounced off his stick today, that’s been an issue. So, is that a bit of luck or is it you’re a little fatigued so it translates to your hands?”

— Matt Grzelcyk exited the game after the first period with an upper-body injury.

Boston already is down Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, so it’s pretty thin at the blue line. Grzelcyk only is considered day-to-day, but it’s unclear what his injury is, but a more clear picture should come into focus Sunday.

The Bruins already planned to give Kevan Miller a load management day Sunday, which was going to pave the way for Jarred Tinordi to play. If Grzelcyk can’t play and Miller gets the day off, Jack Ahcan likely would be called up to play.

— Anton Blidh also left the game briefly after laying out to block a shot early in the second period.

He promptly went down the tunnel to get looked at, and after missing a chunk of the frame was back on the bench and finished the game.

— Blidh, who scored a goal Thursday, played a team-low 8:28. He was one of a few guys with only a little ice time, as Karson Kuhlman logged 8:43 and Chris Wagner had 9:20.

— Brad Marchand had a shot at history Saturday afternoon, but was unable to make it happen.

The top-line winger had scored shorthanded goals in each of his last two games. No player in Bruins history had ever recorded shorthanded goals in three straight contests.

Boston only committed a pair of penalties, and Marchand was unable to score on either.

Thumbnail photo via Mitchell Leff/USA TODAY Sports Images

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