BOSTON — Linus Ullmark did not detail what his physical malady was in the playoffs, but maintained that the medical staff helped to make him ready to play from Games 1-6 against the Florida Panthers.

But the likely Vezina Trophy winner knows what he was able to give his team in the postseason was not good enough.

In typical Ullmark fashion, he was philosophical about the whole experience, and intentionally vague.

“You know what, here’s the deal, we all go through things in life. We all go through things come playoff time. We all battle our different things, whether it’s mentally or it’s physically,” Ullmark said on the Bruins’ breakup day at Warrior Ice Arena on Tuesday. “We all have our stuff. We all want to help the team out to the best of our capabilities. Yeah, it’s pretty evident that I didn’t play the way that I wanted to. I wasn’t as good as I wanted to be, and unfortunately at the worst time possible.

“That’s something I have to live with and I’m just so grateful for all the guys that are in this room, that are in the medical room, everybody that’s in this organization. The guys in the medical room do everything they can for us and they were true warriors throughout the season. I have full respect, I fully support everything they have and the trust that we have for them is immense. They helped me throughout this whole season to keep me in battling shape.”

In describing his situation, Ullmark went back to the age-old athlete’s saying that there’s a difference between being hurt and being injured. He maintains that he was the former, though he could not answer whether he’d need offseason surgery until he met with the medical staff again.


“You can be hurt and still play. That’s what we were doing,” Ullmark said. “You had different people dealing with broken bones, like (Zdeno) Chara when he had a broken jaw. Was he hurting? Yeah, he was hurting. Some things you can play through without it making you play worse.”

How hard is it for an athlete to identify the line between being hurt and being injured?

“I think it’s easier when it’s regular season compared to playoffs. Because you know that the other team is hurting as well, there are some bumps and bruises and everything like that,” Ullmark said. “And you don’t want to be liability to your team. And you don’t have to know the time to step back. And like I said before, with the help of the medical team, I felt confident before every single game.”

He said he never would put the team’s success in jeopardy.

“I had full confidence in my abilities in every single game. That’s the honest truth. Otherwise, I would have stepped aside. This is a team game. We win together and we lose together,” Ullmark said.

But when a goalie is playing at less than 100 percent, it’s different than when a position player is battling through something. The goalie is the last line of defense, and every goal against is magnified in the playoffs.


And Ullmark did not look much like the player he was in the regular season, when he went 40-6-1 with a .938 save percentage and a 1.89 GAA. In the postseason, he had .896 save percentage and a 3.33 GAA in going 3-3. In a painful way, his subpar performance in the post-eason highlighted how much the Bruins needed him to be great during the regular season.

How much did his physical ailments affect his play?

“It’s tough to answer that question. I don’t think there’s a great answer to it,” Ullmark said. “Frustrating? Yeah, it is frustrating. Because this is the most fun time to play hockey, when the playoffs come around. You want to feel at your best when push comes to shove. When you’re not, you’ve just got to deal with it. That’s the hand you’ve been dealt. You’ve got to own up to it, try to learn from it for next time and try to enjoy it as much as possible.”

In the end, he understood the decision to go with Jeremy Swayman in Game 7.

“I could have played Game 7. I fully respect the decision to let Sway play that one if the team feels like that’s the way they want to go and I fully support it,” Ullmark said.



Neither Patrice Bergeron nor David Krejci, who both finished up one-year deals, were ready to say whether they were ready to retire or not. But Krejci, whose family remained in South Carolina during the season, talked about how hard the season was on him.

“I think it was one of the best years, but also one of the worst years. It was a roller coaster,” Krejci said. “There were a few times during this season that, if we were not doing good, I’d have just packed it up and gone back (home). From that standpoint, it was tough. But then coming here every day, seeing the guys, it just made it worth it.”

Bergeron wanted to take the time decompress and then gauge whether he’s got another year in him and that he knows “you can still help, on and off the ice, physically and mentally.”

If this is it, what kind of imprint does he hope he’s left on the organization?

“That’s a good question. I’m not sure. If it is, it’s that I left everything out there … and that I’m thankful and grateful. But we’re no there yet,” Bergeron said.

Bergeron and Krejci said their decisions will be between retirement or returning to the Bruins.

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