PLYMOUTH, MA – As more time has passed, it’s become more and more clear as to what was truly behind the coaching change that’s led to Jim Montgomery starting the year behind the Boston Bruins bench after the firing of Bruce Cassidy.
It certainly wasn’t about overall success on the ice as Cassidy posted a 245-108-46 record during his six NHL seasons in Boston, led the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019 and had a .672 points percentage over that time. Granted, Cassidy and his Boston Bruins teams never got over the hump during the playoffs and ended with a very disappointing first round exit against the Carolina Hurricanes last spring, but the results on the ice were never the problem coming off a season where Boston finished with 51 wins and 107 points.
Instead, this was about a disconnect between the players and the head coach. It doesn’t sound like it was all the players, as Taylor Hall attested to during Thursday’s Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament at Pine Hills in Plymouth. Instead, it was largely about a group of young players that needed a “softer” touch from a head coach in Cassidy that didn’t hesitate to call players out, including established, veteran players with lengthy NHL resumes.