Well this news certainly will not shock anybody: the Boston Bruins lost to the Washington Capitals on Thursday. The Bruins have now dropped 12 straight games against the Capitals, and do not have any more regular season games scheduled with them this year. A blessing in disguise if you ask me, because it seems like no matter how well they play the Bruins just cannot overcome the Caps. Coming into D.C the Bruins had won five games in a row and eight out of the last 10. All of the sudden the Bruins had some adversity to overcome. Lets take a look back at last nights 4-3 loss and highlight the areas where the Bruins fell short.
There has not been much to complain about this season regarding Bruce Cassidy. Overall he as done a fabulous job. But last night in Washington Cassidy really had egg on his face. Starting in the overtime period where Cassidy thought it was a better idea to put Carlo on the ice in a 3-3 situation than Krug. Cassidy explained that he was sending a message to the veteran defenseman. But overtime against the team that owns you is not the time to bench your most talented offensive defenseman.
Another major blunder by Cassidy was not challenging Lars Eller’s goal that made it 2-1 Boston. When on replay it was very clearly offside. But later on in the game Cassidy did decide to challenge Brett Connolly’s game tying goal that had no chance of being overturned. At that point it’s hard not to wonder if Cassidy was more focused on saving face than actually objectively viewing the play. Especially considering that one of Cassidy’s reasons for not challenging the first goal was because he did not want to risk the two-minute minor in that situation. Which only makes him challenging the game tying goal that much worse, thankfully the Bruins killed the penalty and were able to get one point.
This decision may be even more frustrating than the whole challenge situation. Cassidy has been rather harsh on Bjork all season, and that trend continued against Washington. Bjork had only 6:53 TOI against Washington and seemed to be in the doghouse once again. Cassidy explained that Bjork was not sharp without the puck and was off his defensive angles. This is true, as Bjork has a tendency to be rather ineffective physically in the defensive zone. However the Bruins need to make a choice on Bjork. Either let him work through his deficiencies at the NHL level or send him down to Providence. Bjork is not going to improve by playing not even seven minutes a night at the NHL level. A Providence stint would allow him to play 20 minutes a night and focus on his positioning without the puck.
The Bruins have some big roster decisions coming up, and right now Bjork is the odd man out. Krejci is set to return to the lineup soon as well as Chelarik. While the Bruins have made it public that Bjork has earned his roster spot their hand may be forced. Sweeney and Cassidy have some big decisions to make for the surprisingly good Bruins team now lets see if they can make the right one.