Bruce Cassidy Has Invigorated The Boston Bruins

Interim Head Coach Boston Bruins Bruce Cassidy has been on the job for less than a week.  That being said, he’s gone 3-0 as their bench boss and has found a way to kindle passion back in the players.

The Boston Bruins have been red hot since Bruce Cassidy took over as head coach early last week. They’ve gone 3-0, scoring 14 goals. The Bruins even vanquished their ancient rivals, the Montreal Canadiens at home for the first time since 2012.  The B’s are playing with passion and sincerity, something that had been lacking for most of the season.

Bruce Cassidy came to the Bruins via their AHL affiliate. In the five years he spent their as Providence’s head coach, he worked with many of the current Bruins. He had a great bead on the veteran players as well, and he went right to work. His tweaks did raise a few eyebrows (the Frank VatranoRyan SpoonerJimmy Hayes line for starters), but one can’t argue with the success they’ve had so far.

The Bruins have not only passion, but versatility. Players are emerging in new roles that weren’t considered usual for them under the Claude Julien era.

Let’s use tonight as an example.

The first goal of the game was scored by Adam McQuaid. The first fight of the game was tallied by Torey Krug. That usually goes the other way around. The second goal was a short-handed blast by Zdeno Chara. Chara’s roar of satisfaction and triumph set the tone for the remainder of the contest.

Tuukka Rask was near-perfect in his 25-save shutout performance.  Rask finally kicked the monkey off his back with his win at the TD Garden. That gave the Finnish netminder his 6th shutout of the season, and the 36th of his career. That puts Rask at number two for all-time shutouts by a Bruins goaltender.

The Bruins second and third line have made themselves more visible under Cassidy’s changes.  David Krejci and Frank Vatrano also scored for the Bruins tonight. That’s huge for a team that has to rely an awful lot on Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak this season.

The Boston Bruins now go into their bye week just six points behind the Canadiens in the Atlantic Division. They’re tied for second with the Ottawa Senators in points with 54. The Bruins now get a week off as the struggling teams behind them try to string together a few wins and catch up to the Black and Gold.

It’s only been three games. Still, the Bruins seem to play with a renewed love of the game. Their solid players are still playing at an elite level. The passengers are getting off the bus and on the ice. To a man, the team are playing some of their best hockey of the season (even Jimmy Hayes). I don’t know what Cassidy has put in that dirty water, but I could certainly use a gallon of it shipped to my house.

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