Since Bruce Cassidy was made interim head coach by the Boston Bruins on February 7, 2017, the Bruins have a record of 5-1-0. The B’s have beaten the Pacific leading San Jose Sharks TWICE! They have also beat the Vancouver Canucks, LA Kings, and their rival Montreal Canadiens. The one team they did lose to is the Anaheim Ducks. The game against the Ducks could have been won but the B’s just fell short in the third period. So this leads me to the question, is Bruce Cassidy the real deal? Let’s break it down.
With Cassidy behind the bench the Bruins are 5-1-0. The B’s have scored 23 goals and have given up 13 goals in their past six games. In five out of their past six games the Bruins have scored the first goal. They have also scored five power play goals in the past six games, which is phenomenal and Zdeno Chara also tallied a shorthanded goal. These stats show that Bruce Cassidy is having the team play a more offensive style of hockey, which is good because the NHL is turning into a very offensively minded league. We also see that our top players are performing much better from this offensive style. For example, guys like Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and David Krejci have really benefited from this style of play.
Another point that should be made is how happy the team looks when they score a goal and win a game. The smiles on their faces show how much happier they are with this style of play. Their faces light up with excitement, and they show so much more passion on and off the ice. Also, the coaches don’t just head to the locker room after a win, they stay on the bench to congratulate the players on their victory. When the B’s won a game with Julien behind the bench, the coaches immediately headed to the locker room. They didn’t show any support for the players and didn’t seem to congratulate them. The coaches are taking more pride in this team than they have in the past ten years.
Cassidy has also coached many of our younger guys in Providence. Guys like Frank Vatrano, Ryan Spooner and Peter Cehlarik have played under Cassidy in Providence and seem to be benefitting from his style of play in Boston as well. It is also fantastic that he was the head coach of the P-Bruins because when players get called up to play in Boston they will know exactly how to play under Bruce Cassidy and will fit in well with the team. We can see this in a guy like Cehlarik who is playing extremely well in Boston along side Krejci and Pastrnak.
Bruce Cassidy IS the real deal. He is making something out of a subpar hockey team, leading them to victory when they need it the most. Cassidy is up with the times, meaning his style of play is working in the NHL. The Bruins should keep Bruce Cassidy around for at least another year. If he coaches the team next season, it will give us all a chance to see what he can really do with a new start. The offensive stats I have shown in this article prove that Cassidy can make it in this league. I believe he can lead this team to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Photo: (Causeway Crowd)