Haggerty: Win in Buffalo shows Bruins growing up before our eyes


The Bruins are still a young team. There's no doubting that simple fact when you scan up and down the roster.

The B’s featured six first-year players in the lineup on Tuesday night in Buffalo on the second night of back-to-back games and those young players brought a strong effort in the 3-0 win over the Sabres at Key Bank Arena after dominating the Blue Jackets at home 24 hours earlier. The Bruins are 11-3-1 in their past 15 games since benching Tuukka Rask for a four-game stretch in November. They’re pushing hard to potentially pass the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division.


The B’s woke up Wednesday just four points behind the Leafs with a whopping three games in hand as they ready for the NHL holiday break this weekend.

“They came out pretty hard [early in the game] and had us on our heels,” said Jake DeBrusk. “It’s one of those things where it becomes a mentality to put pucks deep, play a simple game and just kind of find a way to win. I think we did a good job of that.”

A shutout win over the Buffalo Sabres might not seem like much on its face, but grinding it out on the road on the second night of back-to-back games isn’t easy no matter who you are playing. These young Bruins are showing signs of maturity within that youthful exuberance and the workmanlike effort on Wednesday night, aided by a brilliant 36-save effort from Anton Khudobin, was more proof that the Black and Gold are onto something this season.

On a night when many young teams might fall into the trap against a team such as Buffalo, the young and learning Bruins were sidestepping all the booby traps like Indiana Jones trolling for artifacts.

“On the road, in the third period you’re usually going to get a push, and I don’t know, and I’m not trying to be disrespectful here, if they had a sustained push,” said B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy. “They had some shifts in our end, but I thought we managed the game very well in the third. If anything we had the better opportunities. The rest of our game is really coming along. One of the things that’s really improving from the start of the season is recognizing how to play in those situations [within games] and just settle down and play the right way.”

Clearly, there is still room for the Bruins to grow even better, smarter and more effective as the season wears along, but gritting their way through a trap game shows the team’s maturity happening right before our eyes. 

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