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Haggs: Boston Bruins Exceeding All Expectations Right Now |BHN+

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BOSTON – There were modest expectations for the Boston Bruins coming out of the starting gate.

They were bringing in a new coaching staff with a different philosophy, new systems and lots of different terminology that clearly wasn’t the same as Bruce Cassidy’s way of running the show over the previous five years. They were missing Matt Grzelcyk, Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy to start the season with arguably their two best players in the M&M boys, Marchand and McAvoy, out until roughly Thanksgiving.

Combine that with an improved Atlantic Division nearly across the board and expectations, fan or otherwise, were pretty low even with the encouraging summer development that Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci were taking at least one last run in Black and Gold.

Well, the Boston Bruins have blown those modest expectations straight out of the water with a 6-1-0 start that has them leading the Atlantic Division, and a plus-10 goal differential that’s currently the best in the NHL.

The best part is that the Boston Bruins are winning hockey games in different ways, which is usually the hallmark of a good hockey club. They are third in the NHL in offense right now and one of only three teams, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators, to be averaging more than four goals per game.

The firepower is there even with a team that’s missing one of their best scorers in Marchand and with a power play that’s been average at best in the early going. But they’re also showing they can win tight one-goal games as they did in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars at TD Garden that only got extended to a bigger lead thanks to Patrice Bergeron’s empty netter in the closing seconds.

It was an important two points in that the Bruins were able to beat a solid team giving a legitimate road effort while clearly not firing on all cylinders offensively, as has been the case for much of the early going.

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Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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