Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark not being on Boston’s bench during its 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs caused quite a stir on social media during Monday’s game.

But there was a clear explanation for Ullmark’s absence.

According to The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, Ullmark, who served as Jeremy Swayman’s backup for the game, watched the first period from the Bruins’ dressing room instead of trying to squeeze himself on the short and cramped visiting bench at Scotiabank Arena.

Ullmark didn’t realize the waves his seating decision caused online until Bruins director of communications and content Travis Basciotta informed him during the middle of the game, per Shinzawa.

Story continues below advertisement

“He made me realize that something was brewing on social media,” Ullmark told Shinzawa. “I had no idea. I got sent a couple ones now. Yeah, it’s hilarious.”

After going through pregame warmups with the rest of his teammates, Ullmark said he planned to sit on the bench. But the talented netminder ultimately decided for comfort instead of trying to tuck himself into the close quarters.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“I’ve sat on the bench before,” Ullmark said. “It has been a tight squeeze. I went out there before the first period. I’m looking in front of me, and I’m like, ‘There is no place for me to sit.’ I had a stool next to me so I could sit. But then I would be, like, with the fans. I didn’t want to do that. I was going to be in the way all the time. So I’m like, ‘OK, it’s better if I just sit inside to watch the game so I’m not in the way.'”

Ullmark didn’t get upset with all the speculation that ensued when he wasn’t spotted on the bench. Instead, he smiled over it.

Story continues below advertisement

“I had a good laugh,” Ullmark said. “Obviously, it was easy to have a good laugh when we’re winning as well in Toronto. For me, it was like, ‘What am I going to do?’ It was just a surreal thing that happened. You just take it with a smile on my face. It’s nothing I can do about it. Everybody can speculate as much as they want.”

Featured image via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images