Svedberg set to make NHL debut Thursday vs. Preds

Svedberg set to make NHL debut Thursday vs. Preds
January 2, 2014, 12:15 pm
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BOSTON – Bruins coach Claude Julien insisted a couple of days ago that Niklas Svedberg would be up in Boston again this season after circumstances robbed him of his NHL debut.

But the Bruins kept their word, called Svedberg up again on Thursday from the Providence Bruins and he was the first goalie off the ice at morning skate indicating he’ll make his NHL debut against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden tonight. Svedberg has appeared in 22 games for the Black and Gold, and has a 13-5-3 record to go along with a 2.87 goals against average and a .909 save percentage.

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.

In doing so, Svedberg became the first rookie to be named top AHL goalie since former Bruins netminder Jim Carey did it in the 1994-95 season.

Claude Julien said that the 24-year-old Swedish netminder has earned the honor after working diligently to make the transition from the Swedish leagues to the North American game.

“He’s improved over the course of the year with his experience,” said Julien. “Earlier on when I first saw, he had to make some adjustments to his game because of how they play in Europe vs. [North America]. In Europe they really make those plays down low, and they like to make passes.

“Here guys will shoot a lot more off their wings and go in for rebounds. So he used to play a little deeper in his net, but now he plays out of his net a little more. He’s made that adjustment. From there on in, he just kept getting better and his skill level is good. He’s had some bumps on the road, but from what I’ve been told he’s been playing very well as of late.”

Svedberg was initially expected to start last weekend on the road against the Ottawa Senators, but the Dennis Seidenberg injury foiled that plan when Zach Trotman needed to make an emergency trip to spell Zdeno Chara.

“Things like that happen and everybody has to adjust,” said Claude Julien. “We had to tell [Svedberg] he’s off, tell Tuukka [Rask] he’s in and tell [Chad Johnson] that he’s backing up. So it was one of those days.”

Barring another “one of those days” Svedberg will finally get that call he’s been waiting for tonight vs. Nashville.