In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Colby Cave was remembered prior to Thursday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. In other news, the possibilities of a Tuukka Rask return this season are being discussed more and more after he was spotted practicing last week. Meanwhile, his old teammate in Charlie McAvoy, who is having his best NHL season to date, was named the NHL’s second star of the week on Monday. Last but not least, Jeremy Swayman has stepped up admirably in the loss of Rask and is slowly taking over the starting role.
Cave Honoured on Thursday
The NHL community was rocked on April 11, 2020, when it was made known that Cave had passed away after suffering a brain bleed days prior. Cave, who was just 25-years-old at the time of his passing, played in a total of 67 career NHL games split between the Bruins and the Oilers.
On Thursday, both teams paid their respects to Cave, and his wife Emily was in attendance to do the ceremonial puck drop. It was an extremely emotional moment, but one that, in a way, was heartwarming. The impact he left on both his former friends and teammates was and remains very clear. He was a young man that we lost far too soon, and it was great to see him honored in this way.
Rask Return Remains a Possibility
Last week, Bruins fans got some great news as it was reported that Rask was on the ice with Bruins staff before the team’s practice. The 34-year-old is currently recovering from hip surgery he had this offseason and is not expected to return until the new year. A return isn’t a guarantee, however, as he remains without a contract.
According to Chris Johnston of TSN, it is a possibility that Rask would consider other options if and when he is ready to return, though his preference is to remain a member of the Bruins. He has played his entire 560-game career to this point in Boston, but he may very well decide to latch on with a contender if the Bruins cannot make room for him.
McAvoy Named Second Star of the Week
McAvoy continues to both improve and impress every time he is on the ice, and this past week was no different. In four games, the 25-year-old scored two goals and seven points, and as a result, was voted as the NHL’s second star of the week.
While it is very early into the 2021-22 season, McAvoy is very much in the Norris Trophy race. He is as complete of a defenseman as you could ask for, as he brings it at both ends of the ice each and every night. There is zero doubt in anyone’s mind as to whether or not he was worth the eight-year, $76 million deal he signed one month ago.
Swayman Exceeding Expectations
The past few seasons, it was becoming more and more apparent that the Bruins had a legitimate goaltending prospect in Swayman. The now 22-year-old, who was taken in the fourth round (111th overall) of the 2017 draft, had a fantastic three seasons with the University of Maine before turning pro last season. He continued his great play, as he was able to suit up for 10 games with the Bruins in 2020-21 and posted an incredible 1.50 goals-against average (GAA) along with a .945 save percentage (SV%).
This offseason, the Bruins signed Linus Ullmark to a four-year, $20 million deal with the full intention of him being the starting goalie to replace Rask. Early on, however, he has appeared in fewer games than Swayman, who is slowly turning into the team’s number one netminder. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six of his seven starts on the year and owns a rock-solid 2.16 GAA along with a .914 SV%. It is still very early into his NHL career, but the early showings indicate that he could be a very good goalie for a long time in this league.
Up Next for the Bruins
It has been a bit of a slow start to the season for the Bruins, though they are showing life lately with wins in three of their last four games. They have a lengthy break this week, as they haven’t played since Sunday night and won’t play again until they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night. They will then take on the Calgary Flames Sunday to cap off their week.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.