NHL rumors: Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark had 'painful injury' in first round
Report: Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark had 'painful injury' in first round originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark did not look 100 percent healthy during his team's first-round playoff series against the Florida Panthers, and we're starting to find out why.
ESPN's Kevin Weekes reported Tuesday -- one day after the Bruins suffered a shocking Game 7 loss in overtime to the Panthers that ended their season -- that Ullmark played through a "debilitating and painful injury that limited his mobility and technique" in the playoffs.
Ullmark started the first six games of the series before being removed from the net ahead of Game 7. He tallied a 3-3 record, a .896 save percentage and a 3.33 GAA in the series -- well below the stellar league-leading numbers he posted in the regular season that likely will result in him winning the Vezina Trophy.
These four areas proved fatal in Bruins' stunning first-round exit
If the Bruins knew Ullmark was dealing with an injury that limited his ability to play at a high level, they should have turned to Jeremy Swayman a lot sooner. Swayman made his series debut Sunday night in Game 7. It was his first start since the April 13 regular season finale against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins had a 3-1 series lead after back-to-back wins in Florida in Games 3 and 4. If Ullmark was injured at that time, putting Swayman into the net for Game 5 would have been the right choice. Game 6 would have been a good option, too.
It might not have mattered either way because the Bruins played so horribly in front of their goalies with an abundance of turnovers and an inability to consistently clear the defensive zone.
Sticking with an injured Ullmark is still a questionable decision, though, especially when your backup is an excellent goalie himself.