Bruins

Bruins tap Maine-bound goalie Swayman in fourth round

Bruins tap Maine-bound goalie Swayman in fourth round

CHICAGO – It was thought the Bruins might swing for the fences with Boston University goalie Jake Oettinger, particularly if they traded down in the first round, but they ended up filling their goalie quota on Saturday in the fourth round of the NHL Draft at the United Center. The B’s selected University of Maine-bound Jeremy Swayman with the 111th pick in the draft after an impressive run for the Alaska native at Sioux Falls as a junior hockey player.

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The 6-foot-2, 183-pound Swayman posted a 2.90 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in 32 games for a poor Sioux City junior team, but distinguished himself with his size, athleticism and competitiveness as the rare goalie prospect to come out of the great state of Alaska. Swayman was eating breakfast in his Alaskan home while watching himself get drafted by the Bruins. Needless to say, he was pumped as he readies for his first season in Hockey East.

“I’ve been working my whole life for this and just to kind of have the notion of, your work has paid off in a small area of time or a small trinket, it’s very worth all of the hard times and tough times, and kind of working at everything for it. It’s kind of a token back and just an incredible opportunity for sure,” said Swayman, who said he models his game after Braden Holtby while also envying Tuukka Rask’s flexibility. “I would describe myself as a challenge goalie. So, a competitive goalie just kind of fighting through traffic at all times. Being able to see the puck from anywhere on the ice, whether there is a screen in front or a point shot and, of course, a point blank shot. Again, I trust my ability on my skates. I have good feet. I can stay up longer than most goalies in situations where they would have to slide. So, I can stay up and cover more net on a backdoor pass, per say. I also like to cut down the angle a lot.”

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley admitted that Swayman wasn’t the first choice of everybody at the B’s draft table, but said the scouts were confident making him the pick after another goalie was taken off the board before him. There were three goalies taken in the fourth round, including Prince Albert netminder Ian Scott taken one pick before the B’s selection, so it’s difficult to tell which other goalie Boston had their eyes on.

Clearly, the hope now is that Swayman follows in a proud tradition of stud Black Bears goalies that include Ben Bishop, Jimmy Howard, Scott Darling, Mike Dunham and Garth Snow, and that the B’s have drafted a new goalie of the future with Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre in the AHL.

“He’s a goalie that [Bruins goalie coach] Bob Essensa had really liked, and had scouted him. Most of our staff was on board with the goalie. We targeted another goalie, but he just went before our pick,” said Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley. “We heard good things from [the University of Maine] staff there, and we did our due diligence on him. We’re happy with him.”

It remains to be seen how Swayman develops in college, but the B’s hope it’s a steady, ascending development like that of McIntyre after they drafted him prior to his starring run at North Dakota. 
 

Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 loss to the Flyers

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-3 loss to the Flyers

Talking points from the B's loss to the Flyers. . .

GOLD STAR: Sean Couturier scored three of the four goals for the Flyers, and was right in the middle of everything while playing a strong 200-foot game for Philly. The eventual game-winner was both a good, strong wrist shot from the left face-off circle off the rush, and it was also an incredibly soft goal allowed by Jaroslav Halak. Couturier finished with the hat trick and a plus-1 rating in 22:18 of ice time, five shots on net and 13-of-23 face-off wins in an impressive all-around game for the Flyers. The Flyers' best players were the game’s best players on Wednesday night and it was as simple as that, and Couturier was the best of the best.

BLACK EYE: It looks like the spaced out appearances and the natural ebb and flow to the season have caught up to Jaroslav Halak, who struggled with four goals allowed on 18 shots in Wednesday night’s loss. Halak has now allowed four goals in three of his last four games and is sporting an .861 save percentage over that time span. He's really come crashing back down to Earth after his great start to the season for the Bruins and tonight’s loss to the Flyers was another example. The final goal allowed to Couturier on a wrist shot from the face-off circle was the backbreaker that made it a two-goal game. Halak had a couple of pretty good saves mixed in, but he looked like he was fighting the puck for most of the night while picking up his third loss in his last four starts.  

TURNING POINT: The Bruins looked like they kicked back and relaxed after taking an early 2-0 lead in the first period. They got lax on defense, their power play lacked urgency when they had a couple of chances to do damage with it, and as a team they barely reacted when Jori Lehtera clobbered Ryan Donato from behind at the end of the second period. It’s a couple of times now this season that the B’s looked like they stopped playing after taking an early lead, so that’s something they’re going to need to work on for the future. Considering the opponent and the circumstances of the game, this loss to the Flyers was one of the worst ones in a while for the B’s.

HONORABLE MENTION: A great start for Peter Cehlarik scoring in the first period of his first game with the Bruins this season. It was a pretty perfect setup from Jake DeBrusk cross-ice to Cehlarik, who buried the shot into the vacant portion of the net with Flyers goaltender Carter Hart going side-to-side with the moving puck. Cehlarik also had a boarding penalty on his first shift of the game, but at least he’s trying to get involved physically. Cehlarik couldn’t get off another shot on net through the rest of the two periods and had a giveaway to go along with a takeaway and a blocked shot. Cehlarik then added a second goal around the front of the net in the late moments of the third period. He certainly did his job with the two goals and wasn’t a liability at all for the Bruins, so Cehlarik certainly merits a longer look on the David Krejci line after his debut.

BY THE NUMBERS: 121 – the number of goals scored by David Pastrnak prior to his 23rd birthday after tonight’s first period power play strike, which ranks as the most goals scored in franchise history by a player 22 years old or younger.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Makes us wonder why we didn't call him up a long time ago." – Bruce Cassidy to reporters about Peter Cehlarik’s two-goal performance in his first game since getting called up to the Bruins. 

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Highlights from the Bruins' 4-3 loss to the Flyers

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Highlights from the Bruins' 4-3 loss to the Flyers

FINAL SCORE: Flyers 4, Bruins 3

BRUINS RECORD: 26-16-5

FROM JOE HAGGERTY:

1. I know JFK is a young player just figuring it out, but you really shouldn't need somebody to tell you to have the back of your linemate when he gets drilled from behind into the boards. He was literally right next to the play & didn't do anything besides put his arm around him for about a half-second. The play was Jori Lehtera drilling Ryan Donato from behind into the side boards and dasher while bloodying him. Donato left the ice and went back to the dressing room for repairs and Lehtera was slapped with a five minute major for boarding, and once again the Bruins didn’t do much of anything to an opponent taking liberty with them.

2. The Bruins also coughed up a one-goal lead in that second period by giving up a pair of goals. The more egregious of the two was a power play goal where Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner got caught deep in the offensive zone after going on a two-man shorthanded rush that got knocked away into the corner. The Flyers quickly transitioned the other way and the play ended with a Sean Couturier goal right in front. Perhaps a little more conservative PK work from the fourth line duo of Kuraly and Wagner might be called for the next time around.

3. A great start for Peter Cehlarik scoring in the first period of his first game with the Bruins this season. It was a pretty perfect setup from Jake DeBrusk cross-ice to Cehlarik, who buried the shot into the vacant portion of the net with Flyers goaltender Carter Hart going side-to-side with the moving puck. Cehlarik also has a boarding penalty on his first shift of the game, but at least he’s trying to get involved physically as well. Cehlarik couldn’t get off another shot on net through the rest of the two periods and had a giveaway to go along with a takeaway and a blocked shot. He certainly did his job with the first-period goal and wasn’t a liability at all for the Bruins, so Cehlarik certainly merits a longer look on the David Krejci line after his debut. 

4. It looks like the spaced out appearances and the natural ebb and flow to the season have caught up to Jaroslav Halak, who struggled with four goals allowed on 18 shots in Wednesday night’s loss. Halak has now allowed four goals in three of his last four games and is sporting a .861 save percentage over that time span. He's really come crashing back down to Earth after his great start to the season for the Bruins and tonight’s loss to the Flyers was another example. The final goal allowed to Sean Couturier on a wrist shot from the face-off circle was the backbreaker that made it a two-goal game. 

BOX SCORE.

HIGHLIGHTS

KRUG TO PASTA

CEHLARIK'S 2ND CAREER GOAL

FLYERS GET ON THE BOARD

TIED GAME

FLYERS STEAL THE LEAD

LEHTARA GETS 5 MINUTES FOR BOARDING DONATO

FLYERS TACK ON THEIR FOURTH

CEHLARIK SCORES HIS SECOND OF THE GAME

UP NEXT

THURSDAY: vs Blues, 7:00 p.m. (NESN)

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