The fallout from the back-to-back debacles for the Boston Bruins has been harsh and swift but the good thing is, that harshness isn’t just coming from fans and media that covers the team.
After watching his team lose 7-2 to the New York Islanders Thursday night and then get embarrassed again on Friday night in a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t hold back and made it abundantly clear that he expects more from his role players, especially when the team needs it most.
“Did I expect us to be better? Absolutely,” Cassidy said after watching his team get outscored 13-4 but more importantly outhustled. “I would challenge the group that’s in the middle. You know [Patrice] Bergeron and their line are going to find their game. But the guys in the middle that have an opportunity and some days say maybe ‘Geez, I wish I had more minutes’ or ‘[I wish] that I had a better chance.’ [Anders] Bjork and [Jake] DeBrusk, Johnny Moore and [Connor] Clifton that have been in and out of the lineup. Guys that have been in the league a little bit, Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly, that are going to see a few more minutes because it’s three games in four days and a back-to-back.
They need to put a little onus on themselves to impact the game, whether it’s offensively or physically…whatever. When they talk to me about what do I need to do to stay in the lineup or get more minutes?’ Well, this is a good example of that to push through a little bit and impact the game. I didn’t think we got that either. That’s where I look internally at our team and expect better.”
Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo has also had enough.
“And it can’t go on any further than this,” Carlo said with authority after the game. “There’s been times my first couple of years we’ve had one game like that but we’ve always bounced back — so this is definitely unacceptable and we have to look in the mirror, move forward, recognize and learn from the last two days.”
General Manager Don Sweeney didn’t exactly shake things up Saturday but with rugged defenseman Kevan Miller suddenly feeling the after-effects of multiple knee surgeries and the Bruins clearly missing his presence, Sweeney went out and claimed another defenseman of Miller’s ilk off waivers in veteran rearguard Jarred Tinordi.
Also, as I write here, the Bruins are finishing up a practice that saw Cassidy switch up both the forward lines and defensive pairings, that included the return of Matt Grzelcyk.
#NHLBruins practice lines:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Ritchie – Coyle – Smith
Frederic – Studnicka – DeBrusk
Kuraly – McKegg – Kuhlman
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Zboril – Carlo
Vaakanainen – Clifton
Moore – Kampfer
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 27, 2021
Now onto the rest of the BHN Daily Links:
Imagine if Tuukka Rask finishes his career off with the team that drafted him, thought Justin Pogge was their future in net, and decided to trade him to the Boston Bruins? (Toronto Star)
You gotta love how the Seattle Kraken isn’t just helping out its immediate community already but also it’s regional! (Seattle Kraken)
Imagine how many goals Auston Matthews would’ve had by now if he was healthy? (TSN)
As expected, new Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ron Hextall brought in longtime colleague and friend Chris Pryor to become his Director of Player Personnel. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Please don’t tell me that ‘The Code’ doesn’t still exist in the NHL!
Marcus Foligno calls for the refs early after laying a beating on Nikolai Knyzhov pic.twitter.com/EFo8J2Q0Iy
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 23, 2021
Finally, a great profile here on former Boston Bruins winger Jarome Iginla and his battles against racism coming up the ranks.