BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins are riding the Sway.
With Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak still sidelined, the Bruins are giving rookie Jeremy Swayman his third consecutive start on Saturday in Philadelphia.READ MORE: Butler Strong Down Stretch, Heat Hold Off Celtics 130-124
The 22-year-old netminder has had quite a week, making his NHL debut on Tuesday and quickly inspiring his teammates and his coaches with both his ability to stop pucks and the smile on his face as he does it.
“We want to put the best guy in there, the guy that gives us the best chance to win,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said Friday. “Good for Sway. Obviously we wouldn’t be running him back out there if he wasn’t performing like he is. We didn’t know. We had a good idea with his resume, but you never know until you take that next step. And so far, so good.”
Swayman beat the Flyers on Tuesday and the Capitals on Thursday, his first taste of NHL action. He has stopped 71 of the 75 shots he’s faced, good for a .947 save percentage and 2.01 GAA. The fourth-round pick in 2017 had been 8-1-0 with a .933 save percentage and 1.89 GAA in Providence this season, his first in professional hockey after playing three seasons for the University of Maine.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 9, 2021READ MORE: Devers, Renfroe HR, Lead Pivetta, Red Sox Past Orioles 4-3
Cassidy said he’s been impressed with both Swayman and Daniel Vladar, the young duo that’s filled in admirably as Rask has dealt with an upper-body injury and Halak’s been out due to COVID-19. He noted that Sunday’s game at home against Washington will be started by Vladar, unless Rask is healthy enough to return.
After Thursday night’s win, though, Cassidy was particularly encouraged by everything he saw out of Swayman.
“Yeah absolutely, you’re 100 percent accurate in that,” Cassidy said when asked if Swayman’s composure stood out. “Looks that way in the net, acts that way between periods, acts that way before games. Listen, you don’t want to jump to any — it’s two good hockey games, on the road. Again, goals that … no bad goals yet. All good shots that have beaten him, made real high-end saves, tracking pucks I think has been excellent so far. … Like what we’ve seen so far.”
For his part, Swayman’s been focused on the task at hand, while still making sure to soak it all in.MORE NEWS: Tom Brady's First Career Touchdown Football Up For Auction
“NHL, that’s everything. It’s a big deal,” Swayman said after Thursday’s win in Washington. “This team is obviously a really good one to be a part of, so I’m just enjoying every second I can while I can.”