RALEIGH – The Boston Bruins know they need to bounce back with a much more complete game in Game 2 if they want to even their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes beat the Bruins 5-1 in Game 1 and while that could be a deflating way to open a series for some NHL teams, it’s not for the Boston Bruins, who this season and in many past, have traditionally been a great bounce back team.
The Boston Bruins longest losing streak of the 2021-22 regular season didn’t come until mid-April when they lost three consecutive games from April 10-14. That’s why Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy and his players aren’t rattled from the way Game 1 went and know they can bounce back in Game 2.
“They’re a hard-working group so they’re always willing to put the work in, that’s first and foremost,” Cassidy pointed out when asked why this team is so good at bouncing back. “I don’t think they get dejected over certain situations. I think we have good leadership; they send good messages. I don’t think anybody panics after a loss here. We’ve done a good job of resetting and we can focus on our start tonight, it was good in Game 1 and we can focus on that and as the game goes along, let’s do some things good that we didn’t do in the first game.”
Having a core veteran leadership group of captain Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Charlie Coyle and Nick Foligno obviously helps when it comes to living in the moment and not the past or future, but as Cassidy pointed out, the younger core of David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo is now stepping up as well. They’ve gained the experience and know the value of going shift by shift and not getting mired in defeat.
“I think our guys, the leaders, they’ve been around for a lot of these games. …even our young guys, like Pastrnak, Carlo, McAvoy, they’re young but they’ve been through a lot of playoff series,” Cassidy said. “It doesn’t always go the way it’s scripted right out of the gate. Sometimes it goes great, you get on a roll but sometimes you gotta battle through. There’s no easy games and I think our guys truly understand that, and on the flip side of that, every game’s a new entity too. You’re starting over and like I said, I think our guys recognize that.”
McAvoy echoed his coach’s sentiments following an optional skate Wednesday, ahead of Game 2.
“I think since I’ve been here, part of the culture in the room is we don’t let things slide,” McAvoy said. “I think it’s a mindset, in the regular season especially, we don’t let things compound as far as losing games consecutive. It’s our mentality to get back on track right away and we tend to do a good job at that. Obviously in the playoffs, it’s even more crucial to get back on track faster so that’s the objective tonight. I think there was enough good stuff from last game to pull and draw some inspiration on what can do more, and then obviously there’s learning opportunities for everything else. So, I’m just really excited for tonight.”