Last season, the Boston Bruins not only posted the best record in the NHL but they also had the best goalie tandem in the league.

Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman combined to win the 2022-23 William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the team of goalies who allowed the fewest goals in a single season.

The Bruins became the first team in NHL history to feature both a 40-win and a 20-win goaltender in a single season. Ullmark finished the campaign with a 40-6-1 record and a 24-6-4 for Swayman.

Not only did Boston’s duo give up the least amount of goals (167) in the league but they combined for a .929 save percentage and a 2.08 goals-against average. They truly leaned on each other in practice and supported each other during games. They were fueled by healthy competition, something not seen very regularly around the league.

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Former Bruins goaltender turned analyst Andrew Raycroft said the duo has been talked about throughout the NHL for how unique their relationship is.

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“No. Never,” Raycroft told on whether he’s ever seen a tandem like Swayman and Ullmark before. “There’s been a lot of talk about it (around the league) and how sincere it is. How is that possible when there’s only one net? How do they compete?”

The Bruins have had four goalie tandems win the Jennings award and in most cases, there was a clear starter and backup within the two players. Ullmark only started 12 more games than Swayman last season and so far entering the centennial season the duo has played every other game, splitting the net 50-50.

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It’s more than just the healthy competition on the ice, the two goaltenders genuinely care for each other and they thrive off the other’s successes.

“I never had a relationship with my goalie partner like that,” Raycroft said. “I had guys that I really enjoyed being around. Felix Potvin was one of them. But I don’t know if he thinks the same way. I mean, I was the one playing all the time.”

Raycroft added: “You play with good goaltenders, guys you like but at the same time you’re competing with them and you want the net. So, I’ve never had that relationship.”

Swayman has said in the past that he felt an instant connection with Ullmark from the minute they hit the ice together. Those who are around them understand the admiration each goalie has for the other.

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“I’ve seen it up close now — it’s very sincere they really enjoy each other,” Raycroft said. “They really have the personalities that allow themselves to be happy for a guy that they’re competing directly with.”

Ullmark is currently 4-0-1 on the season with a .939 save percentage and 1.89 goals-against average. His partner is a perfect 4-0-0 allowing only five goals in those four contests for a .957 save percentage and 1.26 goals-against average.

For those keeping record at home, that’s an 8-0-1 record and eight hugs to start the Bruins’ centennial season.

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Featured image via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images