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Ullmark or Swayman? The Bruins know their goalie plan for Game 1 vs. Maple Leafs, but they aren't telling us

Bruins eager and ready for another showdown with Maple Leafs in NHL Playoffs
Bruins eager and ready for another showdown with Maple Leafs in NHL Playoffs 02:30

BOSTON -- Will it be Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman? That's what Boston hockey fans are asking themselves, wondering who will be in net when the Bruins begin their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at TD Garden.

The Bruins know who will get the nod. Ullmark and Swayman also know who will be in net. But the Bruins aren't letting anyone else know their plan, and will keep everyone -- including the Leafs -- guessing for a few more days.

"Our goalies know what the plan is," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told reporters after Thursday's practice. "They know what their strengths are for our hockey club and how much we rely on them. Performance and results will dictate some of this, but we know what the plan is going in and so do they. And we're comfortable with it."

Sweeney was then asked if he would be willing to reveal Boston's plan between the pipes.

"That's not my job," Sweeney said with a big smirk.

Sounds like we'll have to wait for head coach Jim Montgomery to make an announcement, and he likely won't be in any rush either. So unfortunately we don't know who will be in net Saturday -- or for Game 2 whenever that may be. But Sweeney said that he is very confident in Boston's goaltending tandem, touting it as a strength of the team the last two seasons. 

And he certainly isn't wrong.

Coming off his Vezina Trophy win last season, Ullmark went 22-10-7 with a 2.57 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage for Boston during the regular season. He was stellar after reportedly rejecting a trade to the L.A. Kings at the trade deadline, going 6-3-0 with a .1.90 GAA and .935 save percentage since March 8.

That strong finish could give Ullmark the inside track to start in Game 1 on Saturday. But Swayman was pretty darn good too, touting a 25-10-8 record to go with his 2.53 GAA and .916 save percentage. And he's also had Toronto's number the last two years.

Swayman went 3-0-0 against the Leafs this season, stopping 93 of the 97 shots that they sent his way. Overall, the Bruins have won seven straight over Toronto going back to last season, and Swayman has four of those victories.

Ullmark made just one start in net against Toronto during the regular season, when he made 37 saves in an overtime win on Dec. 2. 

Really, the Bruins should feel good with either goalie in net against the Leafs. And while a goalie rotation isn't the norm in the playoffs, they have reason to feel pretty good about that, too.

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