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  • What to make of Jeremy Swayman’s recent postgame comments

    Tim Rosenthal January 14, 2024

    Through his first four seasons in Boston, Jeremy Swayman solidified his spot as a fan favorite among Bruins fans.

    Whether he’s keeping his team afloat under duress or engaging in his trademark postgame victory hug with Linus Ullmark, Swayman displayed a unique upbeat and even-keel approach.

    That philosophy also translates to his interviews with the media. While he’ll throw out a few cliches amid a sea of reporters and cameras, Swayman also showcases a forthright approach to provide as good of a quote as possible.

    But Thursday marked a first of sorts for Swayman.

    As frustrations settled in following Boston’s third straight overtime loss in Vegas, Swayman held his chin up and took on one of his professional responsibilities. Even though the Bruins only allowed 25 shots on net, Swayman endured through another round of high-danger scoring chances against.

    Swayman came through with multiple timely stops, including a pad save on Ivan Barbashev in the third period to keep Boston’s chances afloat. Matt Grzelcyk scored an equalizer minutes later, ultimately sending the Bruins to the extra session.

    But with the sting still fresh from Alex Pietrangelo’s overtime winner, an irritable Swayman took center stage for one of his more animated postgame interviews of his young career.

    “I have to make saves like that in timely manners. I’m happy to have that, but we’ve got to finish these kind of games. It’s just not acceptable at this point,” Swayman said.

    “I’m excited to get to work and do what we need to do to finish games because we will soon finish those games, and it will feel [expletive] good.”

    Two nights later, Boston’s penalty kill allowed a pair of net-front tallies in St. Louis. But the Bruins found that elusive finish in overtime on Charlie McAvoy’s game-winner, rectifying a few of the troubling developments from the first three games of the road trip.

    Swayman didn’t have as busy a night as he had in Vegas. Aside from St. Louis’ pair of power play goals, and missed coverage on Kevin Hayes’ first-period equalizer, the Bruins kept Swayman’s crease pretty clean for the most part, allowing just 23 shots on net.

    Earlier in the evening, the NHL revealed their final slate of participants for the annual All-Star game. Swayman’s name appeared on the list of the eight all-star goaltenders.

    Among the goaltenders with 20 or more appearances, Swayman sits sixth in goals against average (2.49), tied for fifth with L.A.’s Cam Talbot in overall save percentage (.918) and has the third highest save percentage on high-danger scoring chances in 5v5 play (.867). For all his yeoman’s work between the pipes, Swayman didn’t hesitate to thank his teammates for paving the way for his first all-star appearance.

    “First and foremost, it couldn’t have happened without the team in front of me,” Swayman told reporters in St. Louis. “I’m so lucky to have such a defensive-structured team that takes pride in the D-zone and, of course, gets it done in the offensive zone. So huge kudos to them for allowing this to happen.”

    As he answered his thoughts on joining the dynamic David Pastrnak and head coach Jim Montgomery as Boston’s representatives, Swayman also shed light on the events from his arbitration hearing over the summer.

    Boston’s tight cap situation forced the two parties into a route neither party wanted to take. Ultimately, the arbitrator awarded Swayman with a $3.475 million contract for the 2023-24 season.

    Some interpreted Swayman’s comments on arbitration as a swipe at the front office. And perhaps his quote was nothing more than a few seconds of reflection in the process that got Swayman to his first All-Star game. Nonetheless, Swayman provided his second noteworthy comment on the back end of Boston’s four-game road trip.

    “But yeah, after dealing with what I did this summer with arbitration, hearing things that a player should never hear, it feels pretty special to be in this situation,” Swayman said. “So, I’m extremely honored and I’m really excited to join Pasta and Monty.”

    In any event, GM Don Sweeney will have much more flexibility to address Swayman’s long-term situation in Boston.

    An increase in the league’s salary cap to a projected $87.5 million will leave the Bruins with north of $25.8 million of potential cap space per Cap Friendly. Swayman highlights the list of Boston’s pending restricted free agents, with Jake DeBrusk and Matt Grzelcyk among the B’s notable UFAs.

    The Bruins will likely have several areas to address over the summer. They’ll have a little more leverage to improve their center and defensive depth either on the free agent or trade markets.

    Internally, a new contract for Swayman will sit on top of Sweeney’s off-season to-do list. And the last thing the two parties need is another bitter round of hearings with a neutral arbitrator.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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