Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have split goaltending duties for the Boston Bruins for the past two seasons with each emerging as the No. 1 netminder as the playoffs began.

This season Swayman earned the nod in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It wasn’t that Ullmark was playing badly; Swayman was playing better.

Sitting on the bench watching the other half of the tandem take the net game after game is not easy for a goaltender, but Ullmark and Swayman are not your average duo.

“This is the thing about playing professional sports, one of the hardest things is to be off to the side, because you want the team to succeed, but you want it to succeed with you as well,” Ullmark told reporters at the Bruins breakdown day at Warrior Ice Arena on Sunday, per team transcript. “So, it’s definitely one of the hardest things, but I wasn’t alone in it.

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“Obviously, there’s other guys that wanted to play as well. I thought that having the support system that I have and also having the conversations that I had with people around it … I felt that I did what I could, I did what needed to be done, I tried to carry myself very professionally, and support every single one of my fellow teammates through this stretch.”

Even though Ullmark was on the bench watching, Swayman never felt his partner’s support waver.

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“Just endless positivity, and we thrive off that with each other and knowing that it’s not easy when you’re not playing games,” Swayman said, per team transcript. “I’ve been in his shoes where you really are being the ultimate teammate, and his demeanor was to bring, to compete every day understanding that if I wasn’t being my best, you could be in that net just as fast.

“So my job was to maintain the competitiveness, maintain the edge and not have any days off. Because if I did, then, again, he could take that net just as fast. So, knowing that he’s such a quality goalie and a quality human, it was such a privilege and an incredible thing that we had going, because it’s only going to make one another better and, of course, indirectly, our team better.”

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Ullmark has one year left on his contract, and Swayman is a restricted free agent. Ullmark made it clear that he is looking forward to wearing a Bruins jersey again next season. Swayman also expressed his desire to stay with Boston for the long haul.

Featured image via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images