Promoting Niklas Svedberg Is the Boston Bruins’ Best Bet for Backup Goaltending

June 9th, 2014 by Al Daniel Leave a reply »

While the Boston Bruins’ best backup goaltending choice for next season might seem less obvious now than earlier in the year, it continues to tip the scale.

With incumbent backup Chad Johnson and top Providence netminder Niklas Svedberg both approaching free agency, the latter remains the better option to re-up. The rewards outnumber and outweigh any mild drawbacks in that potentiality.

The way Johnson spelled his skillful superior and fellow 27-year-old Tuukka Rask was a pleasant surprise for Boston in 2013-14. As a free-agent import from Phoenix, he made New England hockey followers forget about Anton Khudobin.

That allowed Svedberg to keep honing his game in the AHL for the bulk of the year. In between, he mustered one appearance in The Show, stopping 33 of 35 shots to help win a 3-2 overtime decision over Nashville on Jan. 2.

The Bruins should have sought more opportunities to give Svedberg a look at a full-fledged NHL-caliber strike force. The regular-season finale in New Jersey, when Boston promoted four forwards but no one else, comes to mind.

Come what may, Johnson’s 2013-14 camp ...

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