The Boston Bruins finally succumbed to the pressure of playing every other day since April 11 and fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in double overtime in Game 2 Saturday. Rather than dwell on the fact his team is headed back to Columbus tied 1-1 in the series, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy decided to veer the attention away from that and reel into the officiating crew for Game 2 and even the NHL, questioning whether known pest Brad Marchand s being unfairly targeted?
“Marshy had no penalty minutes in the playoffs. None, until last night, zero,” Cassidy said. “Leading scorer on our team. All of a sudden I’ve got NHL like ‘keep an eye out.’ I’m kind of like ‘what are you talking about?’ ‘Why are you going down this road on a guy that’s kept his nose clean?’
The frustration stemmed from the attention Marchand may have or may not have been getting from the ref’s after he stomped on Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson’s stick and broke it prior to a faceoff early in the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1. Legendary Hockey Night In Canada analyst Don Cherry seemed to agree with Cassidy during his Coach’s Corner Segment Saturday. So is Cassidy whining or is he pulling some brilliant coaching here?
The read here is that the Bruins head coach – who arguably got out-coached against the Maple Leafs at points but recovered more than nicely to help his team win the seven-game series- is playing the chess game. If you were to bet that Cassidy would beat Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella to the punch and would deliver the first juicy rant of quotes in this series, you’d likely be collecting some money after Cassidy’s daily press briefing Sunday. Encore Harbor is close to opening in Everett, MA soon, but Cassidy was already doubling down in the coaching casino Sunday.
“So I have a bit of a problem with the treatment of Marshy with certain officials. And I think he’s earned some of his, obviously, his reputation. But not right now. He’s been clean all year, he’s been clean all playoffs. So I hoped that would go away and the talk would be about ‘hey he hasn’t scored in two games, what can we do to get him going there?’ More like Pastrnak. I think Marshy’s generated, they just haven’t gone in, so that would be my answer to that part of it.
“Anyway, here we are again talking about him, his two penalty minutes in nine playoff games. That’s kind of my take on the Marshy stuff.”
So now here we go as the series switches to Columbus and the potential of a cannon sounding off and taking command of this series, but if Cassidy can do anything to prevent that he did that Sunday by putting himself in the line of fire as his team regrouped from a tough loss in Game 2.