Bruins notes: Goalie rotation question back on the table

Steve Conroy, Boston Herald on

Published in Hockey

TORONTO — The Bruins entered the playoffs believing goaltending is the team’s strength. And in the first round, they haven’t been wrong.

And yet, all of a sudden, the goalie rotation question is back on the table.

That is not to say that Linus Ullmark was bad in Game 2, a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden. Far from it. He faced 10 high danger chances, according to Natural Stat Trick, and made a number of Grade A saves to keep the B’s in a game in which they did not play very well.

But then there’s Jeremy Swayman’s 5-0 record against the Leafs, including both playoff games he’s played in. In the B’s 4-2 win on Wednesday at Scotiabank Arena, he stopped 28 of 30 shots, including 13 in the third period to preserve the win.

There’s also the fact the teams have two days off before they get back at it for Game 4 on Saturday night. Would that color Bruins coach Jim Montgomery’s thinking with regard to the rotation and maybe ride the hot hand?

“Yeah, I mean, we’re going to have more rest,” said Montgomery at the team hotel on Thursday morning. “But both goalies, the rotation’s been so good for us. It’s a hard decision.”


So no, the coach is not about to show his hand on the goalie rotation. Any competitive edge that he can glean from the situation, he’s rightly going to hang on to that.

But when asked if Swayman just “had the Leafs’ number,” he took the opportunity to take a shot at one of Toronto’s agitators much like Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe did with Brad Marchand after Game 3.

“Sometimes I don’t think that, but when (Max) Domi goes off the bench and bumps him on purpose makes me think he’s in their head a little bit,” Montgomery said.

That incident happened during a TV timeout and it wasn’t a big shove, but it was enough to knock Swayman off balance (“I’ve got to do more push-ups,” joked Swayman with ESPN after the game) and it drew the ire of Pat Maroon, who barked at the Leaf and made sure everyone on the B’s bench knew about what he’d seen.


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