The Boston Bruins are still getting used to the system employed by new Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. While they may not be a technical improvement, they’re certainly getting results.
The Boston Bruins are now 2-0 under new head coach Bruce Cassidy. Cassidy’s tweaks have certainly help the Bruins find some confidence. They’ve also helped the B’s (for the moment) get back into third place in the Atlantic Division.
When it comes to offense, the Bruins are encouraging the blueliners to come in and act as a fourth forward on the rushes. While this can give the semblance of a ‘spray and pray’ mentality to getting pucks on net, one can’t argue with the results. The Black and Gold have put in 10 goals in the last two games, something the team has had difficulty doing.
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“You know, you’re playing with fire sometimes, you’ve got to be careful,” shared defenceman Kevan Miller with the media after the game. “I think that’s something we’re going to learn, but I think we did a pretty good job of that tonight and it’s not too big of a difference. But just trying to focus on getting up when you can and when it’s available and to make sure guys are filling in for us behind us.”
The Bruins also got secondary scoring from the other lines. Forward Frank Vatrano put in the B’s second goal of the night (on the power play) while playing on the third line. The third line has been a rough place to find goals of late, and it speaks well of Cassidy’s changes to see that.
The Bruins third line looks rough at first glance. Jimmy Hayes hasn’t been a fan favorite this season. Ryan Spooner was often in and out of Claude Julien‘s dog house. While pairing them with Vatrano didn’t seem to make much sense, they’ve been playing well together.
Surprisingly well together.
As in ‘functional Bruins line’ well together. Like not having ‘Jimmy Hayes guard the popcorn machine any more’ well together. Hayes has started playing like the Bruin the team needs him to be. He broke a 12-game pointless streak with an assist on the Vatrano goal.
Things are looking up for Ryan Spooner as well. Spooner has had four points in the last four games. Confidence has been an issue with him in the past, but the points are bringing the confidence for the 25-year old center.
Vatrano’s three-point game earned him First Star of the Game honors. Overall, this new third line looks a lot better than other pairings this season. So, kudos for Cassidy for trying something new there.
“That was a great reward for them,” said Cassidy of the third line’s performance. “I thought defensively they were solid for the most part. We’ll look at it a little closer, but there was no apprehension calling their name out and throwing them out on the ice tonight.
“That will only ingratiate themselves with their teammates, with the coaching staff, when they can contribute offensively, solid defensively, play a 200-foot game. So, good for them.”
Bruce Cassidy also made good on his threat earlier in the week. There in fact was an Anton Khudobin sighting. The Bruins backup goaltender earned his second win of the season in the victory over Vancouver. That’s something the Bruins DESPERATELY needed.
Are the Bruins playing technically pretty hockey? Not by a long shot. Are they finding ways to win? Yes, and that’s what matters right now.
If the Bruins keep this up, they’ll not only silence most of their critics, they’ll finally see the postseason for the first time in three years.