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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Bruins' Revolving Door of Backup Goaltenders Continues to Spin

For the third season in a row, Bruins star goaltender Tuukka Rask will have a new backup sitting behind him. Following in the skates of Anton Khudobin (who had a nice season with Carolina in 2013-14) and Chad Johnson who was really good in his one season for Boston (17-4-3, 2 shutouts, 2.10 GAA and .925 save percentage in 27 games), enter Swedish youngster Niklas Svedberg.

It is his time since he's only 24 and Boston signed him to a one-year, one-way deal worth $600,000 this afternoon. Johnson is an unrestricted free agent and he made the exact same amount as Svedberg just agreed to. You can bet that someone will overpay Johnson and who knows, he might even get to start at some point depending on where he ends up. Svedberg was signed as a free agent on May 29, 2012.

Svedberg's lone start last season with Boston was a 3-2 overtime win vs. Nashville when he made 33 saves. In Providence, he was 25-15-4 with 2.63 goals against average and .910 save percentage in 45 games. He split time with Malcolm Subban who undoubtedly will now be the guy for the Providence Bruins. It's time to see what Svedberg can do in the NHL since he's maxed out in the AHL: 66-27-6 in 102 games. In 2012-13, he was a breakout star for the Providence Bruins as they lost in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs (the 1st of 2 years in a row they'd do that).

The Bruins have plenty of needs: wingers that can score and mobile defensemen being at the top of the list but goaltending is the one area where (barring some major injury) they are in great shape with Rask, Svedberg and Subban in Providence.

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