Friday, December 27, 2013
Julien: Svedberg 'earned his opportunity'
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins on Friday morning recalled goaltender Niklas Svedberg from Providence of the AHL.
Svedberg, 24, will serve as Tuukka Rask’s backup against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night at TD Garden. Bruins coach Claude Julien admitted the rookie netminder will get the start either Saturday in Ottawa or against the New York Islanders on Tuesday in Boston.
“We don’t bring guys up just to practice,” Julien said. “If we bring him up it’s hopefully to give him a game. We’ll play him at some point.”
Bruins backup Chad Johnson is not hurt. Julien said after Svedberg impressed during training camp the Bruins told him he would be recalled at some point this season.
“He’s earned his opportunity,” Julien said. “We told him we would give him that, so it gives us an idea of where he is in his development.”
Svedberg’s recall did not come as a surprise to Johnson. The team informed both goalies of the situation.
“The guy earned the opportunity here to get some games,” Julien said. “We told him we would and we’re keeping our promise because he’s deserving of it. At the same time, Chad understands and sees what kind of camp this guy had and hockey’s hockey. Everybody battles for their jobs and everybody battles to keep them. It’s just another healthy competition.”
Svedberg is 11-5-3 with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage in 20 games this season for the P-Bruins.
“My start was pretty good but I had a tough stretch during November, December,” he said. “For a few weeks I was a little uneven, but lately I’ve been feeling good and I’ve just got to keep working.”
He posted his first shutout of the season with a 34-save performance in Providence’s 4-0 win over the Worcester Sharks on Thursday night. Svedberg was told after the game he was being promoted to the NHL for the first time.
Svedberg was outstanding for Providence during the 2012-2013 season, posting a 37-8-2 record with a 2.17 GAA in 48 games. He played well during training camp in September, but because Johnson has a one-way contract, Svedberg was sent to Providence.
“He’s had bumps along the way but he’s been a pretty good goaltender,” Julien said. “Last year he was really good and had a great camp. Goaltenders have bumps along the way; it’s a normal thing, like any player. He got a shutout (Thursday night) and his play has been pretty good the last few weeks. It’s a good time to bring him up and give him a shot.”
Johnson is 6-2 with a 2.40 GAA and a .911 save percentage in eight starts for the Bruins this season.