Jeremy Swayman made his NHL debut Tuesday night for the Boston Bruins and certainly made an impact, to say the very least.
The goalie has been a force between the pipes for the Providence Bruins with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Swayman showed plenty of poise for Boston in its 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night in a 40-save performance, something that earned high praise from his head coach and teammates.
Sure, we only have a small sample size from the 22-year-old, but he gave Bruins fans much to be excited about — especially in the future.
Here’s a few things we learned from Swayman’s debut:
HE DIDN’T LET THE BIG STAGE GET TO HIM
Swayman showed poised of a veteran through 60 minutes and gave the Bruins a chance to win. He certainly did not look like a 22-year-old making his NHL debut against a team the B’s lost to a day prior. Swayman denied a Scott Laughton shorthanded breakaway attempt, and stopped all 13 shots he faced in the first period.
“It’s a game. And it’s a game that I love,” Swayman said after Wednesday’s win. “And I enjoyed every second of it.”
HE MADE A LITTLE HISTORY
The Flyers peppered Swayman with 42 shots, the most ever faced by a Bruins rookie goalie in 55 years when Bernie Parent saw 44 shots against the Chicago Blackhawks in 1965.
HE IMPRESSED HIS TEAMMATES, HEAD COACH
How couldn’t Bruce Cassidy and Co. not be impressed with what they saw? With Tuukka Rask sidelined with an injury and Jaroslav Halak on the NHL’s COVID-19 list due to a positive test, he certainly provided some insurance should the tandem of Rask and Halak miss extended time.
“He’s a pretty relaxed, competitive guy. I’ve been told he’s used to those nights at Maine, but that’s atypical for our team,” Cassidy said. “I thought we did a nice job in the third in front of him. He deserved much better support than we gave him. He eventually got it and I’m happy for him. Got his first NHL win and he deserved it. Good for him.”
Patrice Bergeron echoed his coach’s sentiments: “He was great. Really happy for him, a well-deserved win,” Bergeron said. “He was battling all night. He gave us a true chance to win, especially in the second period. That poise was evident from the get-go, from the way he prepared in the locker room — he looked ready, he looked calm and he was the same way on the ice. So, good for him and hopefully many more to come.”
HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE THE WEIRD GOALIE
Swayman stayed on the ice at Wells Fargo Center after warmups prior to puck drop. But it’s just part of his routine, and something he doesn’t consider weird.
“That’s just my routine,” Swayman said. “I’m not too suspicious. I take pride in not being the weird goalie, but my teammates might say otherwise. But it’s just my routine. I don’t need to be the last guy, but I know I take most of the warmup to really dial and make sure that my mind’s in the right place before a game.”
Not weird. Not too suspicious. Got it.
FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
It’s unclear if Swayman will get another start, or if Bruins fans will see him again this season. That, of course, depends on the health of Rask and Halak. But he certainly has earned the trust of Bruins fans. And he, along with Dan Vladar, have proven they have what it takes to be in the NHL.