Why Bruce Cassidy ‘Really Happy’ With ‘Atypical’ Bruins Goalie Tandem

The Bruins' goalie situation is 'atypical'


Aug 12, 2021

Bruce Cassidy believes the Boston Bruins are in the dawning of a good thing in net.

The Bruins head coach explained to the NHL Network’s Jackie Redmond and Darren Pang why he is confident the team can succeed with a new goaltender tandem. Boston will begin next season with Jeremy Swayman, who largely impressed in 2021 in his first 11 NHL games, and Linus Ullmark, who joined the B’s last month as a free agent. Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask, the Bruins’ top goalie last season, could re-join Boston after he recovers fully from hip surgery. However, Jaroslav Halak, Rask’s backup for the past three seasons, signed with the Vancouver Canucks in free agency.

“He (Ullmark) played well in Buffalo against us,” Cassidy said. “I think our guys (front office) knew that both our goalies’ (contracts) were up this year. We didn’t know what would happen, so they had done their homework, and Bob (Essensa), our goalie coach, obviously has a lot to say about the goaltending. I think we knew Linus was going to be a free agent so there was some work done there, and it happened to work out for us. We feel he has got a lot to give, he’s just entering his prime.

“Swayman, on the other hand, (is a) young guy who played really well for us. (He’s) a little bit of an unknown in terms of being through the league, but the games he did get and the reps he was outstanding for us. So we’re confident in those two.

“But of course Tuukka’s having surgery, so there’s rehab there, and he may end up in the mix down the road. That’s a bit of an unknown. But right now we’re really happy with two young guys, which is atypical since I’ve been here. We typically have had veteran goaltenders with Tuukka and Anton (Khudobin) and Tuukka and Halak.”

Cassidy’s latest comments on the Bruins goalie tandem are similar to those he made last Thursday. However, he also suggested last week the job of No. 1 in net is up for grabs.

The Bruins will begin training camp in mid-September. Their 2021-22 regular-season slate will open Oct. 16 against the Dallas Stars. Cassidy sounds confident Swayman and Ullmark both can help the team win, and they’ll have a chance to prove it in a few weeks’ time.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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