BRIGHTON, MA — Boston Bruins goalie Brandon Bussi isn’t expected to break camp with the Bruins and be one of the Bruins’ two NHL goalies this season but already will be part of the 2022-23 NHL highlight reel.
With the Boston Bruins up 2-0 early in the third period, Bussi committed highway robbery on New York Rangers forward Jonny Brodzinski with a beautiful glove save 6:03 into the final frame.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 25, 2023
That sent the TD Graden faithful into a frenzy and a standing ovation for the 25-year-old goalie, who would wind up with a 29-save shutout in a 3-0 win for the Boston Bruins.
“Just a wild experience overall,” Brandon Bussi told the media in his postgame scrum. “I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of a crowd that excited, that much energy, and it’s only preseason. It’s a testament to how great our fans are, and it was a super exciting experience to do it here for the first time.”
That memorable save is a testament to how hard Bussi continues to work and strive to improve despite being securely slotted no higher than third on the current goaltending depth chart for the Bruins. After signing a one-year entry-level contract as an NCAA free agent out of Western Michigan on March 30, 2022, the Sound Beach, New York native went on to have an all-star season for the Providence Bruins (AHL) in 2022-23, going 22-5-4 with a 2.40 GAA and .924 save-percentage. With one training camp and that successful season under his belt, Bussi feels more at ease in the 2023 Bruins training camp but is far from satisfied.
“It’s a pretty overall different experience after getting a full year under your belt,” Bussi told BHN last Thursday. “I just feel more comfortable around the facilities. You just know the schedules and know where you need to be more. So, I definitely feel a bit more comfortable and just excited for the opportunity to be here. To re-sign and be a Bruin again is super-exciting, and I think I’m just ready to learn and prepare myself for the start of the year.”
So far, Bussi’s biggest lesson about being a professional hockey player is that he needs to always be ready to go physically and mentally.
“It’s a 24/7 job,” Bussi instantly replied. “It’s a long year, and you gotta prepare your body right to endure the whole year. I think my body felt pretty good last year, but I think there was room for improvement, so that was a big thing for the offseason. I think overall for my game, just working on everything, becoming a faster skater and tracking pucks better. …all the little things to be able to translate to the next level, which is obviously everyone’s goal.”
Speaking of learning, Bussi continues to take advantage of being around the 2022-23 Jennings Trophy winners Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.
“It’s unbelievable,” Bussi said of learning from a Vezina Trophy winner like Ullmark and a potential future one in Swayman. “There’s a reason why they did special things last year, and both in their careers have been at the top of their level. So, again, every day is a great opportunity to learn from them to prepare for the season and be ready for the first game, and take those things with you. I think we’re all friends here, everybody at camp. There’s the friendly competition to be the best and push each other, but with that being said, I think there’s an opportunity for us to take a look at everyone’s games and see what might work or add something to the toolbox.”
Bussi spent most of the summer training at Stop It Goaltending in Woburn, MA, and then the Bruins practice facility, Warrior Arena in Brighton for the past month. Bussi felt it was important to stay around Boston and the team this offseason.
“Ultimately, this is where we all want to be,” Bussi pointed out. “There’s different paths for that, and in my position that I’m in, I’m just getting ready for the season to play my best on day one, and we go from there. The facility and everything they have here to offer is top-notch, best in the league, I can probably say, so this is where you want to be. The fact that we had so many guys training here as early as they did is a testament to what we have, so I’m just very excited about everything.”
After last season and then his performance on Sunday night, the Bruins and their fans are starting to get excited about Bussi.