Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman has received special recognition from the National Hockey League for his dominant performance in February.
The league has named Swayman the NHL Rookie of the Month, as the Bruins announced on Tuesday. Swayman started seven games in February and went 5-1-1 with a .960 save percentage and a 1.13 goals against average, both of which were first among all goalies with at least five starts during the month.
Entering Tuesday’s action, Swayman is now first in the NHL with a 1.95 GAA, tied with the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin. He also ranks fourth in save percentage with .929. But for the past month, Swayman hasn’t just been the league’s best rookie goalie, but the best goalie, period.
In case you’re curious, Swayman remained a rookie this season because, per league rules, you have to accrue more than 25 games in the NHL to shed the “rookie” label. Swayman played only 10 games in 2020-21, but he’s now up to 34 in his young career.
Swayman also posted two shutouts during February, most recently in the Bruins’ 7-0 beatdown of the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. He’s won four straight starts and allowed two goals or fewer in his last six.
The rookie’s recent hot streak can be traced back to his first start of February, a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Cassidy put the spotlight on Swayman in his postgame press conference after the rookie had some ugly lapses in the defeat.
“Goaltending picks you up some nights, and it can deflate you,” Cassidy said. “I think we saw both in the second period [against Pittsburgh].”
Considering how Swayman’s month began, that makes it all the more impressive that he ended up atop the goaltending leaderboard. Since that off night against the Pens, Swayman is 5-0-1 with a .971 save pct. and only five goals allowed. Award-wise, the next step is to see if he can keep improving his case for the Calder Trophy. His competition includes the Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider, the Leafs’ Michael Bunting, and the Ducks’ Trevor Zegras.
The Bruins take on the aforementioned Zegras and the Ducks on Tuesday night at the Honda Center. Swayman will get a much-earned night off, though, as Linus Ullmark starts. You can get the call of the game on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Sports Hub app, starting with pregame coverage at 9:30 p.m. ET.
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