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5-Minute Major: The Bruins cannot break up their goalie bromance

Elliotte Friedman broke the hearts of every Bruins fan on the “32 Thoughts” podcast when he suggested the Boston Bruins trade their beloved goalie, Linus Ullmark.

Annika Morris | Senior Graphic Artist

Ullmark has continued to put up decent numbers this season, with a .913 save percentage and a 2.72 goals against average.

Last season, he won the NHL’s award for best goalie, the Vezina Trophy, with a 40-6-1 record and leading the league in both save percentage (.938) and GAA (1.89). He proved himself to be one of the most valuable players on a Bruins team that broke the NHL record for most points ever won by a team with 135, and he was trusted enough to start six of the team’s seven playoff games, a series they ultimately lost to the disgust of their fans.

While Ullmark is not putting up those kinds of numbers this season, he has not fallen off a cliff either. He has come back to Earth, but that must have been expected. Those numbers also do not account for the Bruins’ struggles on defense this season, which is not entirely within Ullmark’s control.

Besides, his regression has been balanced by his teammate, Jeremy Swayman, stepping up.

The Bruins have a unique goaltending situation, and it is one of the reasons they are once again having a very good season.

Instead of having a starting goalie and a backup goalie, they have a tandem set up where Swayman and Ullmark essentially play every other game.

While Swayman could fill the role of a starting goalie and has rightfully earned the respect of the organization, ruining the system that is currently working in order to fix a different problem could cause more issues to rise.

Swayman has not been a starter, and there is no proof that he could maintain his same level of success playing twice as many games. He could definitely flourish with the trust given to him, but is it worth the risk?

More important, however, is the goalie bromance Ullmark and Swayman have developed.

The two have described each other as “family.Swayman has dressed up as Santa for Ullmark’s kids. They have their famous goalie hug they have after every victory, regardless of who was in net.

Bruins fans love these two together. A lot. Splitting them up could not only become an overall detriment to the team, but a huge morale hit for the fanbase, which is still upset about the way last season ended.

It would not only affect the fanbase. 

Who knows how Swayman would react if they traded away his best friend. It could affect his performance in games if he had a huge emotional hit. Not only would his status with the team change from a tandem half to a starter, but he would be without a huge part of his security blanket.

It could also affect his desire to resign with the Bruins after this season, especially since he was so vocal about how his restricted free agency damaged his view of the business of hockey.

The Bruins have room to improve if they want to win the Stanley Cup this season, but they should not be making those improvements by breaking up their core bromance. Not only could it negatively affect their current season, but it could damage their future goaltending, too.

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