Bruins Weekly: Swayman, Ullmark, Poitras & More

The second full week of training camp had plenty of storylines for the Boston Bruins. In this edition of Bruins Weekly, we’ll discuss how their top goaltenders fared in their first preseason starts, a prospect’s impressive beginning to his Ontario Hockey League (OHL) season, and more.

Swayman and Ullmark Start the Preseason Strong

After Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark did not make the trip for the Bruins’ first preseason game on Sept. 24 against the Philadelphia Flyers, they each got to make their preseason debuts at home last week in Boston’s games against the New York Rangers and Flyers. After having a strong first season in 2021-22 as the goaltending tandem, they started the preseason with a pair of wins in two strong performances.

Related: Bruins Should Have Confidence With Their Goaltending Depth

Swayman stopped 24 of the 26 shots the Rangers fired at him, with Adam Fox and Alexis Lafrenière each scoring the Rangers’ goals on Sept. 27. Swayman stopped all seven shots he faced in the third period and allowed his teammates to rally for a 3-2 overtime victory on two A.J. Greer goals. Like he did last season, Swayman was confident with each shot he faced, he challenged all the shots aggressively and did a nice job of cutting down angles.

Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins
Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Ullmark made his debut Saturday in a 4-0 win over the Flyers. The Bruins started the game very slowly and outshot 8-2 in the first period, but the former Buffalo Sabres goalie was up to the task. He finished the game with 21 saves, including eight in the third period and several big ones on the four Philadelphia power plays. It was a much better start to the preseason this season for Ullmark, compared to the struggles he had last season.

Bruins Make First & Second Round of Cuts

The Bruins made their first round of cuts on Sept. 28 with no real surprises. They sent most of the cut players to the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League (AHL) to prepare for the 2022-23 season. Among the players cut were, Joey Abate, Samuel Asselin, Francois Brassard, Justin Brazeau, Brandon Bussi, Josiah Didier, J.D. Greenway, Curtis Hall, Georgii Merkulov, Luke Toporowski, Eduards Tralmaks, Alex-Olivier Voyer and Jacob Wilson. Matthew Poitras, selected in the second round of July’s Draft, was returned to the Guelph Storm in the OHL. Tuesday, in the second round of cuts, Oskar Steen, Connor Carrick, and Nick Wolff were placed on waivers for purpose of an assignment to Providence. Victor Berglund, Michael Callahan, and Kia Wissmann were assigned to the P-Bruins.

Matthew Poitras Guelph Storm
Matthew Poitras, Guelph Storm (Gar Fitzgerald / Guelph Storm)

There are no surprises on the list, but more was expected out of Merkulov in camp and Toporowski played well in two preseason games after his performance at the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo in September, but battling for a fourth-line spot was tough for him to get before training camp even started.

Poitras Makes Immediate Impact With Guelph

Two days after being sent to Guelph after being part of the Bruins’ first round of cuts, Poitras did not waste any time making an impact in the Storm’s season opener on Sept. 30. He scored Guelph’s first goal of the season and added an assist in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Saturday against the Saginaw Spirit, Poitras had another goal and an assist in a 10-6 Storm loss. He scored the final goal of the night in the third period for Guelph with a nice toe drag and showed a lot of patience before burying the shot under the crossbar. It’s just the opening weekend, but the Bruins have to be happy with what they have seen from the 54th overall pick in July.

Bruins Quotes of the Week

  • A.J. Greer on his celebration after scoring his second goal of the game in overtime to beat the Rangers on Sept. 27, 3-2: “I have fun playing the game. That’s the thing – I’m focused, I’m intense, I’m an intense person. But I enjoy what I do. I’m not gonna apologize. But that was definitely a sick reaction from the crowd, and I look forward to doing that again, hopefully.”
  • David Krejci on returning to Boston: “Feels good, to be honest,” Krejci said of returning. “Still kind of working on it in my head. Once you come here, it’s faster, and that’s something I’ve been working on. That’s what training camp is about and hopefully I get a couple games before the first real game.” (from ‘David Krejci was away for only a year, but things changed with the Bruins in that time,’ Boston Globe, Sept. 28, 2022).
  • Trent Frederic speaks about boxing classes he took in the offseason: “I mean, by the end of it, you’re gassed,” he said. “You gain an appreciation for the people who do that. You go a couple of rounds and you’re just exhausted. We’d be doing the mitt work, and my sweat would be just spraying the guy in the face … and he’d be like, ‘OK, we can stop!’ ” (from ‘A.J. Greer could be someone who gives the Bruins just what they need,’ Boston Globe, Sept. 29, 2022).
  • Marc McLaughlin on focusing on the details and how that can help him earn a roster spot after scoring two goals in Saturday’s preseason win over the Flyers: “Details are going to separate me and allow me to make this team,” said McLaughlin. “So I’ve really been honing in on that. I think I can still make strides with that and I’m really just trying to focus on that, do film and everything, because I’m gunning for a fourth line position, and that’s details, that’s making the right play.”

Bruins Week Ahead

The Bruins wrap up their six-game preseason game slate with two games this week ahead of next week’s season opener against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 12.

  • Wednesday: at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: vs. New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m.

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