Jeremy Swayman is 2-0-0 after making 31 saves against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night to help lift the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win.
The 22-year-old goalie has impressed with the Providence Bruins this season, but many believed he wouldn’t see NHL action this year due to the tandem of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak.
But, as we all know, anything can happen.
Rask has been sidelined with an upper-body injury while Halak is on the NHL’s COVID-19 list. Rookie Dan Vladar also has made starts in their absence and has been impressive, as well, showing fans the future between the pipes certainly is bright.
Bruce Cassidy had nothing but positive things to say about Swayman after the game, especially about his composure.
“He looks that way in the net, acts that way between periods. Acts that way before games,” he said. “Listen, you don’t want to jump to anything, it’s two good hockey games on the road. No bad goals yet. All good shots that have beaten him, made real high-end saves.
“… Simply put, I think he just worries about making the next save.”
But one thing really stood out.
“Tracking pucks, I think, is excellent so far,” Cassidy said. “Washington’s got some big bodies … he seems to be able to find those loose pucks and get himself reset and positioned. I like what we’ve seen so far. The puck play has been good. … So far so good.”
As for Swayman, he just wants to continue to help his team win.
“I think my mindset doesn’t change as far as wanting to win and do whatever I can to help my team win,” he said. “The NHL, that’s everything, it’s a big deal. This team obviously is a really good one to be a part of. I’m just enjoying every second I can while I can.”
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Capitals game:
— Swayman really looks like an established veteran, especially with how he doesn’t let goals get to his head.
The goalie let up two power play goals — one to Alex Ovechkin and one to T.J. Oshie — but never got into his own head and was able to continue to make quality saves and keep the Bruins’ lead safe.
“Every game is a learning experience,” he said. “My coach from Maine had a great point: ‘You can’t buy experience from Target,’ and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m learning every day whether it’s practice or at the hotel or traveling, or at a game. Today, a great memory’s going to be getting that win in a different building, and getting two points that are super important.”
— Brad Marchand scored his 30th (yes, 30th) shorthanded goal in the second period. It was a filfthy goal, to say the least.
Marchand continues to play at a high level even at 32 years of age. So, what’s he doing to elevate his game?
“I think the biggest thing is as you get older you’re competing with a whole generation of players,” he said. “And when they come in, they’re so skilled, they’re so talented … to be able to keep up with them, it’s a grind. I think that’s the biggest thing is the fear of getting pushed out and losing your spot. I’ve had great mentors in this organization. You look at guys like (Zdeno Chara) and (Patrice Bergeron) … just guys that have played a hard game for a long time, it’s the way they compete and the way they take care of themselves off the ice. …”
— Anton Blidh scored his first goal since the 2016-17 season to make it a 2-0 game.
— The Bruins picked up a point on the Philadelphia Flyers, and two on the New York Rangers in the East Division standings with the win.