Jake DeBrusk started Sunday night benched by Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. He ended the night as the hero at TD Garden with two goals in 18 seconds to push the Bruins to a victory over the Buffalo Sabres. It was an up-and-down night in what has been an up-and-down season for the Edmonton native. The end result couldn’t have been better.
“Well yeah, you want a response in some way, shape or form. Two goals is a good response,” Cassidy said postgame. “Go to the net, shoot the puck, get in the shooting lane when you need to, take a hit to get a puck out. There’s details of the game that we expect and it’s a little bit about some of the message with some of these guys now that are in that.”
DeBrusk was stapled to the bench early in the game because of his failure to do the little things. DeBrusk had a clear attempt to block a Sabres shot but elected to pass. Cassidy had seen enough, and decided it was time to send his young forward a message.
“It’s a privilege to put on the Bruins sweater every night,” Cassidy continued. “You might not have your A-game, but you’ve got to bring your B-game to help your team win and be a good pro. So that’s a little bit of the message between periods. I didn’t think there was enough of that of late, wasn’t always necessarily tonight, but it kind of festered itself tonight. We delivered it, moved on, and you hope the player takes it to heart and doesn’t take it personal. There’s a few other guys that got that same message later in the game. See where it goes.”
DeBrusk’s response was terrific and made the difference on Sunday night. It doesn’t always work out that way, however. Players can sometimes take a message the wrong way and end up sulking. Luckily for Cassidy and the Bruins, the response on Sunday was exactly what they were looking for.
“I think, internally, the message you usually send – listen, as long as it’s not personal and you’re trying to get them to play the right way, I think the guys will back you up on it, I really believe that.”
DeBrusk backed his coach up in a big way on Sunday night. It netted him two goals and the team two huge points.