Svedberg called up so B's brass can take look at him

Svedberg called up so B's brass can take look at him
December 27, 2013, 12:15 pm
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(AP Photo)

The Bruins have called Swedish goaltender Niklas Svedberg up from Providence, and there’s a good chance he’ll be starting for the Black and Gold tomorrow night vs. the Ottawa Senators in the second of a home-and-home series. There’s no injury or issue with Tuukka Rask or Chad Johnson, but instead the B’s want to get a look at Svedberg at the midpoint in the season.

Claude Julien hinted that Svedberg might get that “look” Saturday night vs. the Sens in Ottawa.

“We're going to have a look at Svedberg,” said Claude Julien. “Not tonight, maybe tomorrow night? Earned his opportunity, we told him we'd give him that.

“He’s had some bumps along the way [this season], but he’s a really good goaltender. He had a great camp. All goalies have bumps along the way. He got a shutout again last night and his play has been pretty good over the last few weeks. We thought it was a good time to bring him up, and give him a shot.”

Last season, Svedberg won the Baz Bastien Memorial Award as the American League’s top netminder, posting 37 wins, a 2.17 GAA and .925 save percentage along with four shutouts. Svedberg became the first AHL rookie to be named top goalie since former Bruins goaltender Jim Carey did it in 1994-95.

According to Claude Julien, the Bruins made a promise to Svedberg to call him up if he played well in Providence, and he held up his end of the bargain with a strong training camp and a solid three months in Providence. It wasn’t quite as good as last year’s spectacular debut in the AHL with the P-Bruins, but Svedberg was still 11-5-3 with a 2.91 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in 20 games for Providence.

He’ll serve as the backup goaltender for Tuukka Rask tonight, and Julien hopes the third goalie provides a good, competitive situation between Chad Johnson and Svedberg.

“A guy [in Svedberg] earned an opportunity here to get some games,” said Julien. “We told him we would, and we’re keeping our promise because he’s deserving of it. Chad understands because he saw what kind of camp [Svedberg] had. At the same time, hockey is hockey.

“Everybody battles for their jobs and tries to keep them. It’s just a healthy competitive if you want to put it that way. But [Johnson] has been told Svedberg was coming up, and we were going to have a look at him. [Johnson] understands it.”

Johnson is 6-2-0 with a 2.40 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in nine games for the Bruins this season, but has struggled a bit lately while giving up some soft goals on wraparound attempts. A Svedberg call-up serves a couple of purposes: it allows the 24-year-old to get his feet wet should the Bruins need him in an emergency situation in the future should anything happen to Rask, and it also gives the NHL staff a chance to evaluate the goalie’s progress after another half season in Providence.