Despite the end result, the Boston Bruins had a very successful season and one of the people behind their trip to the Stanley Cup Final was head coach Bruce Cassidy. While GM Don Sweeney constructed the team, Cassidy was able to make those players flourish inside a system and bring the best out of them. As a result, Joe McDonald of The Athletic is reporting that the Bruins will look to address Cassidy’s contract as he enters the final year of his current three-year deal.
“He’s under contract, so we have decisions that we’re going to progress with, and he’ll be part of that,” Sweeney told McDonald. “He’s under contract, so it’s not a concern right now, but we will address it.”
With Cassidy at the helm, the Bruins finished second in the Atlantic Division with 107 points, which was only second to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 128 points. The Bruins then went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final where they fell to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7.
Cassidy dealt with plenty of adversity in his third season as head coach of the Bruins. He had to manipulate the lineup to give the Bruins the best possible chance to win as they battled multiple injuries to key players. The team showed resiliency under Cassidy’s leadership and in the playoffs with their backs against the wall down 3-2 to Toronto in round one and 2-1 to Columbus in round two, and 3-2 to St. Louis in the Stanley Cup Final, each time coming back to tie the series.
The players took Cassidy’s message to heart about remaining focused at the job at hand and to never be satisfied about their performance. Even after a victory Cassidy and the players would always talk about how they always could show improvement in the next game. He wanted his players to focus on the details of the game as they needed to be smart with the puck and always support the puck carrier. When the Bruins executed Cassidy’s gameplay, they were successful on the ice and were tough to play against.
In his each of his first three seasons, Cassidy has taken the Bruins to the playoffs and the team continues to show signs of improvement every year. Cassidy is also the second fastest coach in Bruins history to reach the 100 win mark and continues to earn respect from his peers.
Here is the Bruins Record Under Cassidy:
2016-17: 44-31-7 (95 points), lost in the first round (4-2)
2017-18: 50-20-12 (112 points), lost in the second round (4-1)
2018-19 49-24-9 (107 points), lost in Stanley Cup Final (4-3)
When team President Cam Neely held his end of year press conference on Tuesday, he spoke highly of the job Cassidy did this past season with the Bruins.
“He’s done a very good job for us, obviously,” Neely said. “Coming in when he did and getting us to the playoffs and then almost having two, back-to-back 50-win seasons — pretty impressive. He learned from our playoff losses and how to maybe coach a little bit differently in the playoffs.”
“You know, it’s kind of a tale of two seasons, to get into the playoffs, and then once you’re in the playoffs, how do you adjust for a seven-game series. I think Butch [Cassidy] has done a really good job in managing regular season and learning from playoff hockey.”