Fans are doubting that this Bruins goalie can't make history this season

SEP 12, 2023   |   BY HUNTER BOWMAN
Last season, Linus Ullmark showcased an incredible goaltending performance that etched his name in NHL history.

With highlights that included a rare empty-net goal and his debut at the All-Star game, he clinched his first career Vezina Trophy as the league's premier goaltender.

As trade rumors swirled in the early off-season, it now seems apparent that Ullmark will continue to guard the Boston Bruins' net.

But the question on everyone's mind is whether he can replicate his Vezina-winning form in the upcoming season.

Winning the Vezina Trophy multiple times is no easy feat, especially back-to-back. Among active goalies, only Sergei Bobrovsky has achieved this honor, winning in 2013 and then again in 2017.

The last goalie to accomplish consecutive Vezina victories was Martin Brodeur in 2007 and 2008. History suggests that Ullmark faces a significant challenge in defending his title.

However, if he can closely mirror his previous season's performance, he might just have a shot. But there are several factors at play.

The Bruins' roster has undergone substantial changes, most notably with the retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

These departures will undoubtedly have an impact on Ullmark's numbers. With a potentially weaker lineup in front of him, the 6'5" goalie may face a higher volume of shots and scoring chances, which could lead to less impressive stats than last season.

Additionally, Jeremy Swayman's emergence as a capable backup means Ullmark may see a reduced workload this season.

Despite the challenges, Ullmark has some factors working in his favour. Last season, the 30-year-old posted outstanding advanced stats, particularly in areas related to high-danger scoring chances.

He boasted a save percentage of .881% when facing high-danger chances, ranking among the top five goalies in the league. Ullmark also led the NHL in goals saved above average at an impressive 48.51.

Notably, his quality start percentage stood at .896%, a remarkable achievement. These advanced stats showcase his ability to make crucial saves when it matters most.

While it's unlikely that Ullmark will replicate such high advanced stats, even a slight regression could position him as a strong Vezina Trophy contender.

What stood out most last season was Ullmark's knack for delivering quality saves during pivotal moments in games, as his advanced stats confirm.

Ullmark's ability to secure wins is another feather in his cap. Despite playing 13 fewer games than his closest competitor, he tied for the league lead in wins with 40 last season.

This suggests that even if the Bruins don't win as many games in the upcoming season, Ullmark's consistent performance could keep them competitive.

If Linus Ullmark were to clinch back-to-back Vezina Trophies, he would become the first Bruins goaltender to achieve this feat and join a select group of four to win multiple Vezinas in their careers, alongside Tiny Thompson, Frank Brimsek, and Tim Thomas.

Source: Blackngoldhockey
YES964.3 %
NO535.7 %