Over the last two months the Boston Bruins have been on a historic run. They had earned at least a point in nineteen straight games before falling to Pittsburgh Sunday night. The last team to have a streak like that was the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2013-2014 season, when they won the Stanley Cup. During the Bruins impressive stretch many different players have stepped up. Their head coach Bruce Cassidy, however, has again proved why he is one of the best. In a season filled with adversity, he has guided the Bruins to second place in the Eastern Confrence.
While the Bruins entered the season with high expectations, it has been anything but easy. They have missed just about every key player for an extended time due to injuries . They have dealt with sophomore slumps and at times struggled offensively. Through it all, Cassidy has gotten the best out of his players.
For the past three weeks, Cassidy has been without his top goal scorer David Pastrnak, and for the past week Jake DeBrusk. As a result, Cassidy has had to be creative with his lines. Against Ottawa, he placed Chris Wagner on the Bruins top line midway through the game. Wagner rewarded his coach’s trust by scoring the tying goal. This is just one example of Cassidy showing his ability to make in-game adjustments to put this team in the best position to win.
Additionally, he has been patient with his young players as they battled Sophomore slumps. He has received a lot of criticism for his line pairings, but the Bruins offense has improved lately. The secondary scoring that was absent has shown up, as Heinen and DeBrusk have finally resembled the players they were last season. They have rewarded their coaches faith by performing well in top six roles.
Bruins Continue To Excel
Despite the shuffling lineups, the Bruins still have the ninth-best penalty kill, and second best power play unit. They have used 37 different players and improved as the season has progressed. That would cause most teams to fall of a cliff, but not this Bruins team. Cassidy has gotten his team to buy into the Bruins system, and as a result they have excelled.
For all these reasons Cassidy should be in the Jack Adams conversation. The award is given to coach who has contributed the most to his team’s success. Cassidy is more than deserving, as he has rarely had a healthy roster, forcing him to work with a depleted lineup. Regardless of the changing pieces this team continues to win.
Winning the award will not be easy, as Cassidy has steep competition. The other finalists will most likely be Bill Peters, Barry Trotz, and John Cooper. While Cassidy will again be in the conversation, Trotz Is the current favorite due to the Islanders success. Regardless of the results, what Cassidy has done this year has been truly impressive.