It was a close call when the Bruins chose to go with Chad Johnson over Niklas Svedberg as the backup goalie coming out of training camp. But Johnson was on a one-way deal, would have had to be sent through waivers, and had played well enough (if not as well as the younger Svedberg).
Upon sending him back to Providence, the Bruins told the 24-year-old Svedberg — who was voted the best goaltender in the AHL last season — he would be back with the team at some point. That point was Friday, as the Bruins called up Svedberg for the first time in his career.
“We’re going to have a look at him in the next little while here,” said coach Claude Julien. “Not tonight, but maybe tomorrow or the game after. I think he’s earned that. We told him that after having such a good camp that we’d bring him up at some point, get him some games. So that’s what we’re doing right now.”
Svedberg has played 20 games this season in the AHL, with an 11-5-3 record, a 2.91 goals-against average, and a .907 save percentage. He served as the backup for Tuukka Rask in Friday night’s 5-0 victory over the Senators at TD Garden.
The move comes in the wake of Johnson struggling against Buffalo in a 4-2 loss Dec. 19. The deciding goal came on a wraparound, which seems to be a weakness of Johnson’s.
Svedberg was alerted to the recall after Thursday night’s game in Worcester, which Providence won, 4-0, for Svedberg’s first shutout of the season.
“I had a tough stretch in November, December for a while there, for a few weeks, a little bit uneven,” Svedberg said. “But lately it’s been feeling good. Just got to keep working.’’
“Sometimes you go through a tougher time in your career. You’ve just got to work through it. It’s not the first time and probably not the last.”
Though Julien hasn’t gotten to see much of Svedberg this season, he knows that things haven’t been perfect for the young goaltender.
“Goaltenders have bumps along the way,” said Julien. “It’s a normal thing. Just like any player. I don’t think there’s too many players that go through their whole season without running into some of those little bumps along the way.
“His play has been good in the last few weeks, so it’s probably a good time to bring him up and give him a shot.”
That could come as soon as Saturday’s game in Ottawa, the second in a back-to-back for the teams. The coach didn’t feel the need to talk to Johnson about what the team was doing. That’s simply what happens in the NHL.
“Chad understands,” Julien said. “He saw what kind of a camp this guy had. At the same time, hockey’s hockey and that’s the way it is. Everybody battles for their jobs, everybody battles to keep them, and it’s just another healthy competition, if you want to put it that way.
“He’s been told he was coming up and we’re going to have a look at him and he understands it.”
Paille is back
Daniel Paille returned to the lineup after missing seven games with concussion-like symptoms. He had one shot on net during 12 minutes of ice time Friday. Paille noticed the symptoms after traveling with the team from Toronto to Calgary Dec. 9 and was sent back to Boston. The Bruins had sent Nick Johnson back to Providence over the Christmas break . . . Dougie Hamilton, who also was injured in the game against the Maple Leafs Dec. 8, skated before the morning skate Friday. Julien expects Hamilton to start skating with the team next week. The original prognosis on his lower-body injury was 2-4 weeks . . . Loui Eriksson (concussion) continues to come to TD Garden. Julien said Eriksson is, “feeling better every day. It’s not going to be a quick turnaround like it was last time, obviously. But we’re hoping for some good things here in the upcoming weeks.”
Dennis Seidenberg injured his leg in the third period, with the Senators’ Cory Conacher coming down heavily on the defenseman. Seidenberg appeared to be in pain as he left the ice immediately and went to the dressing room with a lower-body injury. Julien announced after the game that Seidenberg will not make the trip to Ottawa with the team, though he had no further information on the injury. The Bruins had only six healthy defensemen, so they will have to recall another from Providence. Boston had just sent David Warsofsky down Tuesday . . . With Reilly Smith’s two goals Friday , the Bruins now have a streak of seven straight games in which a player has notched two goals. Smith has done it three times, Jarome Iginla has done it twice, and Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand have each done it once. That ties the club record, set in December of 1929, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It’s also the longest streak in the NHL since Calgary did it in seven straight games in October 2007.