Boston Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy has an awfully big task in front of him. He’s got to take the staggering B’s and make them a playoff contender. So, he’s chosen to pick up the pace and get the team back into the playoffs.
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Bruce Cassidy was introduced to the media on Tuesday. He had been promoted to head coach after the firing of Claude Julien earlier that day. In Cassidy’s first media interview, he tried to set the tone for what would be his interpretation of the Black and Gold.
For Cassidy, it was going to start in practice. No more warm-up drills. He wanted to get the Bruins straight into the action.
“I like to push the tempo more in practice because that’s one thing as a coach you can control is, generally, the condition of the players and their minutes on the ice,” said Cassidy to the assembled media. (according to the Boston Bruins website) “The reason our practices are going to be a little more intense with pace is because we want to play that way, too. That’s the way the league is going, and we’ve got to be able to sustain that for 60 minutes every night.
“That’s one of the messages we want to drive home with the players.”
It had worked for him in Providence. Over half the current team worked with Cassidy when he was the head coach for the Baby B’s. For those Bruins, it’s a return to the old ways of hard work in practice.
“It’s been good,” said Bruins forward Ryan Spooner. Spooner has had good history with Cassidy. He’s spent three seasons training under Cassidy when he was in Providence. “Practice has been good, there’s been a lot of pace there. I can skate well…he likes to play with pace.”
Then there are the Bruins who haven’t worked with Cassidy before this season. They’re experiencing a new way of looking at practice.
“The drills are kind of one after another,” shared B’s alternate captain David Backes with the media (according to the B’s website). “We’re expected to be on top of it. There’s not four warm-up drills, we’re just going right into it. Good, hard practice again today and we need to carry that tempo into [Thursday’s] game.”
The Bruins have to win tomorrow. If they have any hope of securing a wild card spot, or even getting back the third Atlantic slot back, they need these points.