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Don't Look Now But Here Comes Jeremy Swayman And The Bruins

Rick Osentoski. Getty Images.

The Bs finished up a pretty successful road trip Saturday night in Columbus when they beat the highly entertaining Blue Jackets 5-4 on David Pastrnak's filth-flarn-filth in the shootout…

They pocketed 10 out of 12 possible points and further tightened their grip on a play-off spot. The Bruins now have a 13-point cushion between themselves (the #1 Wild Card) and the 9th place BJs. Oh and they're also just two points back of the fading Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division (the Leafs have a game in hand).

Regardless of how the brackets pan out, you're gonna have to beat some bad motherfuckers just to get to the Stanley Cup Final this year. Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Florida are absolute wagons right now. Igor Shesterkin has carried the Rangers thus far and there's no reason to think he'll stop in the playoffs. 

I'm not really too concerned about the Bruins getting into the top 3 in the Atlantic or not, I just want them in the playoffs. This year's East is a pick-your-poison thing and it's best not to try and play God with where you end up. If the Bs were to pass Toronto, that just ensures they'll open their postseason on either the Atlantic side or the Gulf side of the Sunshine State. Home ice, while you'd rather have it, doesn't matter much in the playoffs. Just play out the schedule and let the chips fall where they may.

This year's Calder Trophy race has been a blast to watch. Red Wings Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond have a huge impact seemingly every game. Trevor Zegras has been a human highlight reel for the Ducks. Nashville's Tanner Jeannot has the perfect blend of skill and toughness. And now you can throw Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman into the mix.

He's currently 4th overall with a .927 save percentage and 1st among rookies. His 2.03 GAA trails only Shesterkin. He has three shutouts in 25 starts. He went 4-0 on the last trip with a .936 SP and made several stellar saves. Like this one…

He was NHL Rookie of the Month for February with a 5-1-1 record, 1.13 GAA, and .960 SP. I don't know if he'll get enough starts and subsequent wins in the final third of the season to overcome other rookies in voting. But Jeremy Swayman has certainly inserted himself into the conversation and is making people sit up and notice his terrific game.

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And this post-game ritual with Linus Ullmark might be one of my favorite things this season. These two guys just started playing with each other in the fall but their joy and camaraderie with each other is contagious. 

You gotta love that. Sway is the man right now and the crease is his unless/until he falters. 

Getting adequate production form their middle six has been a perennial issue for the Bruins going back to the Harry Sinden days it seems like. Butch eventually realized that it can ultimately be better to spread the (superstar) wealth over two lines instead of just loading up the top line. So he put Pasta on the same line with Taylor Hall (with Erik Haula centering them) and they had some nice chemistry from the jump (you don't break up the Marchy-Bergy tandem). 

The third line of Frederic-Coyle-Smith has meshed well and had a great night in Vegas. It ought to stick together for the foreseeable. Foligno-Nosek-Lazar is a damn fine 4th line that can bang, grind, and score here and there. And if the Bs are down a goal late, Cassidy can always reunite the top trio for the maximum offensive effect.

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Still, it never hurts to have additional scoring depth and with the trade deadline two weeks away, I'm guessing Sweeney will make his annual non-blockbuster trade for a player (or two) that no pundits had coming here yet he (they) makes a good impact on the team. Shoot for Phil Kessel first. If that doesn't pan out, I think Sweeney should call Ronnie Franchise in Seattle and see if he can snag Marcus Johansson for 4th or 5th rounder. 

The 31-year-old Swedish forward was a great pick-up for the Bs 2019 Cup run that came up just short. He was pretty versatile and Butch could plug him in anywhere he needed to. Not to mention he's a pretty skilled player and is familiar with several of the guys already. He's on a one-year, $1.5M deal so the price tag is cheap. He's put up 6-14--20 in 46 games played on a pretty bad Seatlle team. I'd also like to see them grab a top 4 defenseman to give the corps that much more depth. I do know to expect the unexpected when it comes to Don Sweeney and deadline deals. 

Whatever he does or doesn't do, it's clear that the Bruins have turned a corner lately and look more like the team we expected back in the fall. And they won't be an easy out come playoff time. 

I gotta give a shoutout to friend of the program Elvis Merzlikins for not only making this incredible leap to avoid a collision but also sticking the landing as well. 

Unreal skill right there. Here's a link to the episode with our Elvis interview. Great kid we had a ball with.