Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy had a full roster at practice Saturday for the first time since training camp started on July 13. The two-time Jack Adams Award finalist is hoping to have the same tomorrow for the round-robin finale against the Washington Capitals and that this full roster can get a win under their collective belt as they head into the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs this coming week. However, as he stressed Saturday afternoon in a Zoom Call with the media, he’s not worried that another loss would put his team in a bad mental state heading into the playoffs.
“Our guys are not in a bad place; they’re really not,” Cassidy said. “I mean, we wanted to win; we wanted to play better and we wanted to preserve the number one seed but we have a veteran group that knows what the ultimate goal is and what’s at stake. So, they know that, come Tuesday or Wednesday – I assume we’ll open one of those two days – they know how to play playoff hockey.”
One of Cassidy’s strengths that has helped him coach in the playoffs in each of his four seasons as the Bruins head coach is that he has a great pulse on the team thanks to that aforementioned veteran core. Players like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, and Torey Krug help Cassidy in that department and by all accounts, his team is simply just ready for real playoff hockey.
“So as a coach, yes, I haven’t been around as long as they have but I do know my team pretty well and I feel like we’re trending in the right direction,” “I see energy in practice now the last couple days and I think that’s just a little more clarity in our situation. It came in last night. It’s either the Islanders or Carolina so there’s a team to start thinking about. There’s players to start to dislike and that’s part of getting the juices flowing. So, I think you’ll see more energy tomorrow or you’ll see pockets of the game where both teams where it’s like ‘Hey, the real stuff starts Tuesday or Wednesday’ so we gotta be a little bit careful but hopefully it’s not for long stretches and just the odd shift here and there.”