The Bruins arrived in Buffalo with the idea that Linus Ullmark was going to start Wednesday night against the Sabres and remain in net for Friday’s matinee head-to-head with the Rangers back at TD Garden.
But the morning skate came with the 28-year-old ‘tweaking’ something and knocking him out of Wednesday’s game, though the Bruins don’t seem particularly concerned with Ullmark’s status moving forward.
“It didn’t seem like a big thing. He was able to back up,” Cassidy said following Wednesday’s victory in Buffalo. “We weren’t gonna bring in a guy last minute anyway unless we were really stuck. I don’t think it’s anything major.”
While the update from Cassidy sounds promising enough, Ullmark’s history would indicate that this is something that could be worth watching, as he battled injuries throughout his Buffalo run, with 54 games missed due to injury since March 2018.
“Hopefully a day off the ice [Thursday] and he’ll be good to go in his next start,” Cassidy said of Ullmark.
That next start is likely to come Sunday night against the Canucks, too, as the Bruins will not have a practice or skate of any sort between now and Friday’s 1 p.m. tilt with the Rangers. That schedule would leave no real time beyond a pregame warmup for Ullmark to get on the ice and test his readiness, making it easy for the Bruins to stick with Jeremy Swayman.
With Ullmark unavailable, the Bruins turned to Swayman in Buffalo (and on his 23rd birthday), and Swayman stopped 24-of-25 shots thrown his way, including a penalty shot from the Sabres’ John Hayden, for his sixth victory of the season.
If Ullmark can’t serve as Swayman’s backup Friday, options in Providence include the veteran Troy Grosenick and prospect Kyle Keyser. The 32-year-old Grosenick, who recently returned from an injury, is 1-0-1 with a .917 save percentage this season, while Keyser is 2-4-3 with a 907 save percentage this season.
Signed to a four-year, $20 million contract this past offseason, Ullmark has four wins and a .908 save percentage through his first seven games with the Bruins.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.