Linus Ullmark is having a season for the books with the Bruins.
The goalie moved to 24-2-1 after Boston’s 4-1 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night after a 26-save performance. Not only was it Ullmark’s 24th win of the season, it also marked the 100th of his career.
“I got to share it with probably the most special group in this league so I couldn’t be more happy,” Ullmark told reporters at UBS Arena after the Bruins’ win.
Maybe Ullmark, like many other players on the Bruins, is benefitting from the head coaching change made over the summer, maybe playing with a team that has more to play for than just the regular season has sparked a new fire under him.
Ullmark has been a star in every sense of the word. He’s a favorite in the Vezina Trophy conversation, he will represent the Bruins at next month’s All-Star Game in Florida and he leads the NHL with a 1.88 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.
“His hockey sense is unreal,” head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters. “Most underrated part that I never hear people talk about is how well he plays the puck, his decision making. That takes a lot of poise. It shows just the amount of poise that he has along with a number of good saves he made (Wednesday).”
The Bruins arguably have the best goalie tandem in the league with Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman between the pipes. Montgomery agrees with that notion and it’s easy to see why given how both have played this year. Even with Swayman starting the season off slow and battling an injury in November, Ullmark held it down and Swayman seemingly has bounced back over his last 10 starts.
“All year long Ully’s been exceptional and he showed it again (Wednesday),” Charlie McAvoy, who scored the game-tying goal Wednesday, told reporters. “He’s been truly our rock back there. Every night he gives us a chance to win. And then we just have to try to do the best job in front of him, you’ve got a lot of confidence going into any game knowing you’ve got him and Sway. Very fortunate.”
The Bruins will look to keep up their winning ways and strong play from their goalies when they play their second of a back-to-back Thursday night against the New York Rangers. Puck drop from Madison Square Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET.