Bruce Cassidy- a New Coach for a New Era
The Bruins were down 2-1 in their recent game against the Calgary Flames Tuesday night at the Garden. Boston was on a power play when forward David Pastrnak got called on a slashing penalty and with their power play cut short, the Bruins knew something had to change. For Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, that meant changing up the lines. This was a move that needed to be done. And boy, did it work.
Veteran David Backes joined Bergeron and Marchand with Pastrnak playing alongside Riley Nash and Danton Heinen. For the rest of the night, the B’s controlled most of the game to come back and win 5-2 over the Flames. Decisions like this demonstrate just how well Cassidy knows his team and why he is exactly what Boston needed.
Out with the Old, in with the New
There’s been so many stories and media hoopla over the firing and return of Claude Julien. Along with some strong sentiments from a few disgruntled loyal Julian fans, Sweeney and Co. held their ground, knowing it was time for change. Enter Bruce Cassidy, former head coach of the Providence Bruins. The Bruins were on the brink of not making it into the playoffs and Cassidy had to salvage what was left of a mediocre season.
The Bruins began to win. They hustled, they picked up speed. Out went the old “dump and chase” game and in came the speed drills. Because Boston lost some of their key players to injuries during their playoff series against the Ottawa Senators, Cassidy did something that Julian hadn’t done. He give adequate ice time to the rookies. For some, like Charlie McAvoy and Sean Kuraly, it would be their NHL debut. Even though the Bruins lost that fought series, it was clear that Bruce would be the man for the job.
Sometimes you have to learn from your mistakes and for Cassidy; it’s just something that comes with the territory. In a game against the Ducks, a goal by David Pastrnak was called off sides and after a coach’s challenge, the call was upheld. The Bruins had lost their time out and the Ducks would score an offside goal, however Boston couldn’t do anything. It was an unfortunate scenario that placed Cassidy in the awkward position of admitting his mistake.
“It’s disappointing because clearly that was a good foot offside. It’s a tough way to give up a goal, but that was a decision I made, and it was the wrong one.”
After winning his first four games with Boston, this would be his first loss as new interim coach. The season would be far from over and, as we all know, this was just the taste of things to come.
Here Come the Bruins
Young, fast, and red-hot. These are a few words sports analysts are using to describe this season’s Bruins team. After a shaky start this season, Boston lost many top players to injuries; it was time for the young guys to step up. The Bruins have been steam rolling over their competition and unlike his predecessor, Cassidy isn’t afraid to put players in vital positions.
“We expect that every night out of these guys. We also have other guys that can pick them up, so it’s like they have to carry the team. But they are making their contributions”.
As a result of Cassidy’s coaching, the Bruins are now second to the Lightning in the division and the league, yet this was a much different story in the beginning of the season. As the team began to bond and build their chemistry, something special happened; the Bruins were winning. Most importantly, this team was starting to have fun.
For players like Pastrnak, Cassidy had to send a subtle message reminding him to handle the puck better. And it worked as the right winger came out of the penalty box ready to go and netting a shot on goal.
Cassidy is making good decisions and with tough match-ups coming up, is it possible for this Bruins team to win the Stanley Cup? With a new coach that isn’t afraid to make changes, chances are looking pretty good for the black and gold.