Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy did not hold back after watching his team blow a 5-2 lead early in the second period and lose 6-5 in a shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night, calling the Bruins’ performance “unprofessional” in his post-game interview on NESN and ripping them again when he addressed the rest of the media.
“I think about halfway through the game, we started turning pucks over in the offensive zone. …in the neutral zone, I think every guy on the team probably had a turnover from the middle of the game on, and then it’s tough to get it back,” Cassidy told NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards and color analyst Andy Brickley.
After allowing four goals in a 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets last Thursday, Bruins goalie Jaro Halak had his second straight subpar start allowing five Flyers goals on 39 shots. Cassidy recognized Halak’s struggles but wasn’t about to lay the blame solely on Halak.
“I thought our goalie and D were not on the same page in terms of breakouts, in terms of net-front situations; so we really had no will to keep the puck out of the net on the last three goals and that’s just been a staple of our team for the last three years. So let’s hope that’s just a one-off because it was unprofessional the way we performed in front of our net there the last three goals. We just need to be better.”
Bruins center David Krejci scored his second goal of the game to put the B’s up by three goals 7:21 into the second period and then the Bruins essentially stopped playing. They were outshot 15-6 from that point on in the second period and entered the third period clinging to a 5-4 lead. The Flyers eventually tied the game at five on defenseman Travis Sanheim’s second goal of the game with 7:02 left in regulation and Travis Konecny beat Halak in the fifth round of the shootout.
Talking to reporters in a scrum after the NESN interview, Cassidy didn’t try to discredit the Flyers’ resolve in coming back from the three-goal deficit but wasn’t about to let his players off the hook. Bruins goalie had his second-straight subpar start,
“I don’t think they did a whole lot different, they just funneled their D and we didn’t keep the puck out of our net,” Cassidy told the rest of the media. “You can talk about our goaltending; talk about the D in front of him, I think they can both take their share of the blame for some of those goals, especially the four-on-four. We got three different guys circling out of there. I mean, it’s inexcusable. You’re in the third period, you got a lead that’s gotten away from ya, we’re pretty good at buckling down. …I don’t know what to tell you on that particular play but no compete in front of the net; no urgency from three of our players.
I’m not sure if the goalie could’ve covered it but to be honest with ya, there’s a couple of guys circling around the net, but clearly not a good job, but good for Philly for going around the net, sticking around and getting inside. I mean, that’s what they did at the end and we weren’t able to move them out of there and no will to move them out of there.”
The Bruins are now 0-for-7 in the shootout but that clearly wasn’t the main reason Cassidy was beside himself after the Bruins blew their second three-goal lead of the season. He was more concerned about the usual compete level from his team suddenly disappearing and the fact they won’t have time to address it on the ice before they close out their three-game road trip against the Blue Jackets in Columbus Tuesday night.
“Well, there’s not much we can do about it now ‘Brick’ [Brickley], we’re off to Columbus,” Cassidy acknowledged. “It’s not something we can fix in practice tomorrow. I mean the compete level on this team has been good for years. It wasn’t there tonight in the second half of the game and it showed.
As for the shootout, it wasn’t there. We’ve seen that movie before; we’re unable to finish. Those are tough and you gotta score sooner or later if you want to get the extra point.”