Stud: Jeremy Swayman
After reigning Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark backstopped the Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in the season opener, Boston turned to Jeremy Swayman to face the Predators in Game 2.
Swayman was terrific behind Ullmark last year, going 33-24-6 with a .920 SV%, 2.27 goals-against average, and four shutouts across 37 games (33 starts). The career-best performance left Boston fans wondering if the Alaskan netminder has what it takes to be the sole starting goaltender one day.
Needless to say, Swayman looks like he's ready to take another huge step. The 24-year-old turned aside 33 of the 35 shots he faced (.943 SV%) in Boston's victory over Nashville. He stood on his head throughout the game, playing a big role in his saving 1.7 goals more than expected.
You can even make the argument that Swayman's victory was more impressive than Ullmark's performance. After all, Ullmark had the luxury of facing the Blackhawks, who were tied for second-last in the NHL last season, while Swayman took on a Nashville team that only missed the playoffs by three points.
Only time will tell if Swayman can fully usurp Ullmark for the Bruins' No. 1 goaltending job. For now, Boston fans just hope that the ex-Maine product can build off his strong showing whenever he starts next.
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