It’s a long-running joke that many Buffalo Sabres players act like they’ve been freed from hockey prison when they get traded away from the perpetually struggling organization or escape via free agency from the snowy upstate New York locale, and Boston Bruins players relocated from Buffalo are really no different.
Taylor Hall played like a man possessed when he was first traded from the Sabres over to the Black and Gold a couple of years ago, and even Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark couldn’t resist taking a shot at his former Buffalo Sabres home along with snowy, cold outposts like Winnipeg and Minnesota as well. The Boston Bruins just finished a five-game road trip last week that took them through Detroit, Chicago, Winnipeg, Minnesota and Buffalo, and Ullmark didn’t sound like he did any sightseeing tours at one of those wintry destinations after stopping 40 shots in a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden on Tuesday night.
“It’s the same thing. We had a long road trip and we didn’t go through the best places on Earth,” said a smirking Ullmark to NESN during some postgame comments. “So we didn’t really play the way we wanted in those first two games and we were in a little bit of a slump, I would say. But it was the same thing there. We got together and rallied the troops and had a couple of good laughs and we had three good wins before we got back here to play in front of the fans.”
Linus Ullmark on @NESN postgame kind of ripping on Minnesota, Winnipeg and Buffalo on their recently concluded 5-game after stopping 40 shots in the B’s 2-1 home win over Ottawa. pic.twitter.com/WcsmhLDVfa
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 22, 2023
Certainly, one would think Ullmark would be fine with the snowy, cold destinations given that he grew up in Sweden, but it also sounds like he no longer circles Buffalo on the calendar as a beloved homecoming for a player where he was drafted, developed and played for the first six seasons of his NHL career. Instead, he’s found a home in Boston where he’s the Vezina Trophy favorite in his second season with the Black and Gold while leading the NHL in wins, goals against average and save percentage, and also leading the league in talking a healthy amount of smack on his least favorite of the 32 stops on the NHL circuit.