The Boston Bruins have a bit of a layoff before Game Three on Long Island and they have a decision to make between the pipes. Do you keep going with Tuukka Rask or do you give Jeremy Swayman his first start?
So far in the playoffs, Rask has performed rather well. He has a save percentage of .930 and a goals against average of 2.06. When your goaltender is playing that well it’s hard to lose games.
But after the loss in Game Two, there seem to be some more questions surrounding Rask. His play isn’t possibly sidelining him, it’s his health.
While Rask hasn’t been perfect, most of the goals can’t be solely blamed on the netminder. The blame should be pointed to traffic in front of Rask or deflections redirecting the puck.
For a decent chunk of the 2021 regular season, Rask dealt with some lower-body problems. Those problems seem to have followed him into the playoffs.
Rask isn’t playing at 100 percent and that could be a problem.
Why the Boston Bruins should start Jeremy Swayman in Game 3
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So now the Bruins have a decision to make on Thursday. Do they keep riding the less than 100 percent Rask or give the rookie his first playoff start?
There are plenty of factors to consider. If you rest Rask for Game Three he will get a decent amount of rest. Also while everyone is less than 100 percent, Rask seems to be much more impaired.
Swayman also performed well in the regular season. In the first 10 games of his career, he has notched seven wins, a .945 save percentage, and 1.50 goals against average. It’s difficult to have a much better start than that.
Boston can rely on Swayman will do well in the net. He won’t fall apart under pressure and will probably make some saves that he has no business making.
Even if the rookie ends up struggling and Boston ends up losing on Thursday it won’t be that big of a deal. As long as the Bruins head home with the series tied up at two there isn’t cause for concern.
If Swayman gets his first start it would be great experience for him as he progresses through his career. Soon Swayman will be the starter once Rask decides to retire. He is the future between the pipes for Boston.
So while Rask has done nothing to make Bruins fans nervous, it’s time for Swayman to get his first playoff start. It will give Rask a break that will recharge him for a Stanley Cup run.