BOSTON – On a night when there were definitely a few funny bounces going against the Boston Bruins, it was one final one in OT that ended up sinking them in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders in Game 2 at TD Garden.
With the Boston Bruins and Islanders going back and forth looking for the overtime winner, young B’s defenseman Jeremy Lauzon opted for a cross-ice pass from the left point to a player that wasn’t there to receive the puck. Instead, the pass bounced off Charlie Coyle’s skate and kicked out toward the Boston zone where Casey Cizikas picked it up and snapped home a game-winner for the Islanders.
Clearly there was some element of bad luck given the way the puck bounced off Coyle’s skate, but Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy also called it an “ill-advised play” postgame and said the safer choice would have been to throw the puck down the boards.
Or at the very least peek to make sure the opposite point was present and ready to accept the cross-ice pass.
“We made a play that was obviously ill-advised, and they scored on a breakaway. That’s what I saw for the overtime goal,” said Cassidy. “We’ll go D-to-D high, and we got a lot of offense out of that tonight, but his partner just wasn’t there [for the pass]. He has just to look. You have to survey the ice. It’s a fluid hockey game and there are set plays for us that we run, but there has to be a player there. Usually, you look first.
“That’s some of the learning curve for young guys. Take a look before the puck gets to you. His partner wasn’t there and was recovering back out. So, Charlie [Coyle] was trying to stay high in his spot, so obviously the cross-ice pass wasn’t there in that case. That’s one that had to go back down the wall or toward the net. At the end of the day, you learn from it.”
It was a tough night for Lauzon, who had the Islanders first goal of the game also bounce off his skate and past Tuukka Rask to get New York on the board after a rough first period for them. Lauzon has now been on the ice for a slew of goals against (seven to be exact) in the Stanley Cup playoffs despite also missing four games due to injury.
Jeremy Lauzon has now been on the ice for a defense-high seven goals against this postseason. He has logged second-lowest total TOI (58:57) among entire Boston defense.
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) June 1, 2021
But his teammates still have his back despite the overtime faux pas and any bad bounces that have dogged him along the way.
“Shit happens. [Jeremy Lauzon] is a great player for us and he’s out there competing and working his butt off. It’s tough when it happens to you, but he’s going to bounce back,” said Brad Marchand of Lauzon, who is a minus-1 during these Stanley Cup playoffs. “It’s all about how we regroup and move forward. We’ve got to worry about the next one.
“It’s a fluke play. Stuff like that happens in hockey.”
It’s always difficult when the learning curve for young players comes at the expense of wins and losses in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but there was also a sense this just might be Boston’s night when accounting for the weird bounces and strange calls throughout the playoff hockey game.