Niklas Svedberg made 26 saves Thursday in his only preseason start.
A few observations from the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime win over the Jets on Thursday in their sixth preseason game.
- Solid night for Niklas Svedberg in the only start he’ll get this preseason.
Svedberg stopped 26 of 28 shots, including all 13 in the second period when Winnipeg spent most of its time in the Bruins’ zone.
In two games, Svedberg made 38 of 41 shots this preseason. For game action, the backup competition between Svedberg and Chad Johnson is over.
The overall numbers: Svedberg is 2-0, 1.89 GAA, .927 save percentage in 96 minutes against 41 shots; Johnson is 1-0, 2.02 GAA, .885 save percentage, one shutout in 89 minutes against 29 shots. The numbers are set, now the call has to be made.
A major consideration is the salary cap. If the Bruins want to save space, Johnson ($600,000 hit) is the choice over Svedberg ($1 million hit), but if they’re comfortable with the bigger hit, then Svedberg may have the inside track.
The other factor is if management wants Svedberg to get more time in the AHL. Based on his numbers, he looks NHL-ready. But in the bigs, he would get minimal playing time, which could stunt his development.
This feels like a call that will have very little to do with the coaching staff and everything to do with management.
- Reilly Smith looked like he locked down his spot on the third line.
Smith drew a penalty in the third period and looked solid in his two-way game on a line with Jordan Caron and Matt Lindblad.
Even though he doesn’t have all the attributes they’d like — he’s a left-hand shot, doesn’t take faceoffs, and doesn’t have much experience as a penalty-killer — Smith has shown he has grit, is responsible defensively and can chip in offensively. That appears to be enough for now.
- Ryan Spooner keeps making these decisions tough on management.
Chatter the last couple days has been Spooner will be an odd man out. Then he goes and scores a goal, adds an assist, attempts five shots and wins seven of 11 faceoffs. Success on draws was one of the question marks on Spooner.
Spooner is right in the conversation for the 13th forward spot with Nick Johnson. If there’s enough cap space for a 14th forward, Spooner would likely be the guy.
- Another nothing night for Jordan Caron. Scoreless, two attempted shots on 18 shifts. The Bruins wanted to see production from Caron and it hasn’t happened. Not looking good for the first-round pick. … Dougie Hamilton was more physically engaged than we’re used to seeing. Put that extra strength to use. … Matt Bartkowski had an assist and has six in the preseason. Impressive work for a guy not known for his offense and indicative of the professional attitude he’s brought this season. … Patrice Bergeron was the first alternate captain as always. With captain Zdeno Chara out, the Bruins had two other alternate captains: Adam McQuaid and Daniel Paille.