Jeremy Swayman & Dan Vladar are keeping the Bruins afloat – just as we all expected

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

We've all seen this narrative play out before, right?

In a contest where the Bruins spent significant stretches either hemmed in their own end or chasing the puck, it was the play of their key cogs up front in Patrice Bergeron (his sixth career hat trick) and Brad Marchand (his second 4-point night in three games) that served as the difference-makers — snatching two points from the jaws of defeat and lifting the Original Six club to a much-needed 4-2 win over the Flyers.

Such a result has been par for the course over the years for a top-heavy Bruins roster — who would have likely found themselves just a point ahead of Philly for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division if it wasn't for the play of their top-line pivot and left wing.

Oh — and their 22-year-old netminder in the midst of his NHL debut.

*Record scratch*

Well ... hang on there — that's not exactly sticking to the script.

But then again, very little has gone according to plan for the Bruins in 2021, who, instead of sitting pretty atop the East standings, are trying to tread water and get healthy during a frantic sprint to the finish line of this 56-game regular season.

And while these twists and turns (or perhaps setbacks is the most apt term to describe a season full of injuries and COVID snafus) have regularly taxed Bruce Cassidy and the B's during this compressed, unique season, that uncertainty has also yielded its fair share of pleasant surprises  — none more so than the play of both Jeremy Swayman and Dan Vladar, who have gone from AHL regulars and rising stars in the club's prospect pipeline to the two men keeping this promising campaign from crumbling into ruin — all in the span of just a couple days.

Just as we all expected, right?