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Boston Bruins Cassidy on Loss to Carolina: ‘We Had Nothing’

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The Boston Bruins simply fell flat on their faces during Tuesday night’s measuring stick game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

They fell down by a couple of goals early, had to pull Tuukka Rask after the first period and completely flatlined midway through the opening 20 minutes en route to a 7-1 blowout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at TD Garden. It was the ultimate downer of a hockey game following en emotion-packed No. 22 jersey retirement ceremony for Bruins Hall of Famer Willie O’Ree and it leaves the Bruins having been outscored 10-1 in two losses to the Hurricanes this season.

There wasn’t a lot positive to say after it was all over, so Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t really sugarcoat it.

“We didn’t compete. Plain and simple. Nothing to do with fatigue, anything else. We didn’t compete,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “It’s problematic against any team, to be honest with you. It’s Game 36, so we’re building our game. We’ve been playing well lately, much better than the start of the year – obviously, not tonight. We had nothing. They were clearly better than us in every area.

“This is less about the opponent, more about where we’re at. Obviously, they forecheck hard, and some of the things they do well, some of the top teams do well – hard on pucks, get on top of you, get to the front of the net. That we weren’t nearly good enough, and we wouldn’t have been good enough against the worst team in the league tonight. We weren’t competitive, and we paid the price.”

The breakdowns were spread out all over the team, but the worst-of-the-worst might have been the bottom-6 forwards on the ice for five goals against with zero offensive presence. Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk and Oskar Steen were on the ice for three even strength goals and combined for one shot on net.

Connor Clifton had a couple of ghastly breakdowns that led to pucks in the back of the net in the first period as well.

And Rask allowed five goals on 12 shots in the opening 20 minutes while admitting afterward that he still has some rust to know off after a long layoff following summer hip surgery.

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“Obviously it was the second game in a while…we talked after the last game, you made a couple saves, you feel good,” said Rask. “Now you don’t [and] the next thing you know, it starts snowballing in the wrong direction. Actually, I made a good save, I think the first one of the game, and then right after that, they score.

“I was half-second late, and that makes a difference. It’s just one of those things that you’ve gotta work on in practice and transfer that into game.”

The only bright spot was a Patrice Bergeron goal deflected off a David Pastrnak shot in the first period that halved Carolina’s lead to 2-1, but the Bruins essentially collapsed when they allowed another Hurricanes goal 13 seconds afterward. Experienced pros like Rask and Bergeron know there’s only so much to be taken from a truly terrible performance that’s more outlier than true measurement of a hockey club.

“That was not our team. You obviously learn and rectify the things you need to be better at, but it’s one of those [games] where you burn [the tape] and then you’ve got to move on,” said Bergeron. “I think the last few weeks you could see how good we can be the steps we’ve taken. To me, it was just flat, just no execution. It’s gotta be better for sure. You burn the tape on that one.”

It still marks just the second loss since the Bruins reconvened their schedule at the start of January and they are very comfortably in a playoff position. Still, it’s going to be necessary for the Bruins to play much better against a loaded team like Carolina before they can feel truly confident about their chances a few months down the line.

 

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Ric

I am sorry bit I think we should move on from Cliffy and find a 5/6 guy who is more physical and defensively responsible

Dean

if sweeney waits any longer to trade debrusk, we will be lucky to get a 4th rounder in return.

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