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Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman in Game 7?

April 29, 2023, 1:26 PM ET [44 Comments]
Anthony Travalgia
Boston Bruins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
With the way the Bruins season went, not many expected them to be in the situation they’re currently in.

Add in the fact that the Bruins jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, with a home game at TD Garden in Game 5 and Sunday’s winner-take-all Game 7 becomes more of a head scratcher.

In Game 6 Friday night the Bruins did what they’ve done best this series: shoot themselves in the foot. The Bruins puck mismanagement has come back to cost them seemingly every time they turn it over.

The Bruins we’ve seen through six games of their series with the Florida Panthers is nothing close to what we saw during a historic 82-game regular season.

A historic 82-game regular season that with a loss on home ice Sunday, will be just another line in the record books until someone else comes along and breaks it.

Nothing more.

The Bruins are going to need to be at their best in Game 7, much like Florida has to save their season in back-to-back wins.

To be at their best, the Bruins will need their best on the ice.

So, at this moment in time, does that mean Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman?

"We're going to review the game and we're going to analyze everybody that played and if we think there needs to be a change, we're going to make a change,” head coach Jim Montgomery said.

The Bruins inability to put this series away does not sit on the shoulders of Ullmark, not even close.

But it’s very clear that Ullmark is not the same goalie we saw during the regular season. He’s not making the saves he had all year, he looks uncomfortable at times.

Ullmark’s night in net equaled the ugliness that his teammates showed in front of him, allowing six goals in an ugly 7-5 loss.

While both goalies struggled to keep the puck of their respective nets, neither Montgomery nor Panthers’ head coach Paul Maurice blinked, keeping their starter in net.

"We communicate with everybody involved, and we thought it was the kind of game we were going to pull out," Montgomery said. "I think Linus is fine. I looked at him in his eyes a few times when he came back to the bench. I liked the way his eyes were looking. He looked intense and he looked keen."

Ullmark ended the season with a nagging injury, one clearly not nagging enough to keep him from playing. He’s missed several practices throughout the series. Because of this, it was expected Swayman would get some ice time throughout the series.

We briefly saw Swayman in Game 4 after Ullmark’s ejection, making one save on one shot in 3:11 of ice time.

“I didn’t shut the door today, unfortunately, I felt good all throughout the game,” Ullmark said. “I didn’t really feel like it got to me or anything like that. Just a couple good shots. Unfortunately, couldn’t make that extra save today.”

Now, with the Bruins season on the line, each roster decision could be the difference in advancing to round two or ending your season after blowing a 3-1 series lead.

The Bruins toughest decision in a season that hasn’t had many difficult ones to make comes down to do you ride with Ullmark, the guy who is clearly off? Or, do you ride with Swayman, the cold goalie who hasn’t seen full game action since April 13?

David Pastrnak finds his scoring touch

Entering Friday’s Game 6, David Pastrnak had two goals and no assists through six games. Clearly frustrated with his and the team’s game in Game 5, Pastrnak was the Bruins best player on Friday, scoring twice.

It was clear from the start that the Pastrnak on the ice in Game 6 was unlike any previous version of himself in the series.

He finished with a game high seven shots on goal.

Connor Clifton’s rough night

Clifton drew back into the lineup for Matt Grzelcyk in Game 6 and couldn’t have picked a worse time for his worst game of the season.

Clifton was -3 on the night and was a turnover machine. The pairing of Clifton and Derek Forbort couldn’t do anything right on the ice.

Puck drops Sunday at 6:30.
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