Boston Bruins’ Goalie Rotation Backfires in Game 2

Afew minutes before Game 2 of the first-round series between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs, Linus Ullmark took the ice to warm up ahead of puck drop at TD Garden. The goalie got the start over teammate Jeremy Swayman, keeping the Bruins’ rotation intact — but their series not so much.

Bruins' Linus Ullmark was reportedly playing through 'debilitating' injury

After losing 3-2 on April 22 to even the series, Boston enters Game 3 with more questions than ever before about what to do next on goal.

Boston took the lead, gave it up, retook it, and then allowed Toronto to score two unanswered goals, including the game-winner by Austin Matthews.

“There’s a reason he scored 69,” Ullmark told reporters after the game, per Amelie Benjamin of “Try to get him next time.”

The story of the game, outside of William Nylander’s mysterious absence, was Ullmark getting the start on goal for the Bruins after Swayman stopped 35 of 36 shots in Game 1 to help the Bruins earn a 5-1 win.

With that victory, Swayman kept his 4-0-0 record against Toronto this season intact, but that wasn’t enough to persuade Boston’s head coach Jim Montgomery to ditch his season-long goalie rotation.

Boston Bruins’ Alternating Goalies Strategy Doesn’t Pay Off

Jim Montgomery, likely NHL Coach of the Year, still wracked with questions about where his Bruins went wrong - The Boston Globe

Moving on from Swayman after he had a masterful outing in Game 1 wasn’t that surprising. Not considering how the Bruins have operated for the past two years when they have been using a rotation of netminders in the last two regular seasons.

The last time Ullmark started a postseason contest, in Game 6 of the 2023 first-round series against the Florida Panthers, he surrendered 6 goals forcing Montgomery to go with Swayman in Game 7 in a too-little-too-late type of move.

Ullmark couldn’t have done much more on Monday. The goalie, starting for the first time in the playoffs this season, stopped 30 shots while allowing 3 goals to the Leafs on the other three he saw.

“I’m very grateful every time I get the opportunity to go out there and play,” Ullmark told reporters after the game, via NESN’s Greg Dudek. “It’s the most fun time in the year. So I don’t take anything for granted.

“I don’t see that anyone should have more starts than the other. It’s all about compete and performance. Also, it’s all about wins.”

That final word is what should worry the Bruins the most after they dropped Game 2, one they played home and the last one at TD Garden until both teams return to Boston for a Game 5 showdown.

‘No Second Guesses’ About Starting Ullmark Overs Swayman

Can the Linus Ullmark-Jeremy Swayman rotation work in the playoffs?

Speaking to reporters after the game, Bruins head coach sounded pleased with Ullmark’s overall performance and didn’t question his decision to start him instead of keeping Swayman in net following the Game 1 win.

“No second guesses,” Montgomery told reporters. “He was terrific. He made multiple big-time saves. It’s the strength of our team. Both of them played really well.

“We only scored two goals.”

Bruins’ Offense Must Level Up So It Doesn’t Matter Who Starts on Net

Boston Bruins set to name Jim Montgomery as new head coach

The Game 2 loss cannot be blamed on the goalie decision, but rather on an inoperant Bruins offense that failed to put the puck inside Toronto’s net as easily as they did in Game 1.

Third-line center Morgan Geekie scored Boston’s opening goal less than 10 minutes into the first period. David Pastrnak scored the second with eight seconds to go in the first frame following a faceoff battle won by the same Geekie. After that, the Bruins went radio silent and the scoreboard only moved in Toronto’s box.

The Bruins have serious firepower in their offense but scoring 2 goals while only attempting 29 shots isn’t going to cut it for them against another strong team in Toronto, even though Boston had already proved capable of puncturing Ilya Samsonov‘s net five times just two days before.

“We didn’t think about (the Game 1 loss),” Samsonov (who stopped 27 shots in Game 2) told reporters after the game according to Joshua Kloke of The Athletic. “We just needed to play our game. That’s what we talked about with the coaches.

“We just moved forward and stayed moment by moment.”

The series moves to Toronto for Game 3 and Game 4 scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 25, and Saturday, April 26. Both teams will have to play at least one more game in Boston on April 30.

Related Posts

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs Have a Short Leash on Brendan Shanahan?

Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan will be back for his 10th season with the organization when the team takes the ice for the 2024-25 season. The announcement came as…

Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk Linked to Western Club

This Western Conference team is expected to target Jake DeBrusk. Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk is a player to watch incredibly closely over the next month and some change. The…

Cubs Bats Go Ice Cold, Braves Take Thursday’s Game 3-0 and Capture Series

After a win in the first game of the series on Tuesday and a poor loss on Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs needed a win on Thursday in order to secure their first…

Colts QB Anthony Richardson Says He’s Going To Keep Playing the Same

Anthony Richardson Takes Firm Stance on Whether Injuries Will Affect How He Plays Colts’ second-year QB Anthony Richardson says he won’t change style of play despite injury…

Sаbreѕ Cаn Addreѕѕ аn Orɡаnizаtionаl Need With 11th Piсk

We’re just over a month away from Round 1 of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft (June 28), and the Buffalo Sabres will select in the top-15 for…

Comments from breakout Cubs ace should scare opposing hitters

Shota Imanaga wants you all to know that this isn’t even his final form yet. The Chicago Cubs rookie star took part in a Thursday interview on…