Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy is a man that never mixes his words.
In his tenure behind the Bruins bench, Cassidy has been vocal on just about everything with his club. Monday night at the TD Garden, he did not leave any stones unturned when he was asked a question in his postgame press conference in regards to the officiating in his teams 5-4 loss to the New York Islanders in Game 5 that puts the Black and Gold in a 3-2 series hole in the best-of-seven series that heads back to Long Island Wednesday night for what could an elimination Game 6.
In the pivotal Game 5, the Bruins were called for the first three penalties of the game and the Islanders cashed in on each power play, which helped them build a 5-2 lead early in the third period before Boston closed the deficit to 5-4, but could get no closer.
Here is what Cassidy had to say, which will most likely cost him a fine, something I don’t think the Bruins boss cares too much about.
"“This is my take on it: We’re playing a team that has a very well-respected management and coaching staff. But I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders. They play hard and play the right way, but I feel we’re the same way. And the exact calls that get called on us do not get called on them, and I don’t know why. These are very good officials. They’re at this point in the season for a reason. [But] you’ve got continuous high sticks every game – the exact same high sticks.”"
Ok, where to start. First and foremost, the penalty kill has been a strength of the Bruins all season long, but it let them down big-time Monday night. Nothing you can do the penalties that are called except kill them. Boston didn’t do that.
The first penalty on Sean Kuraly was a slash that gave the Isles a power play at the end of the first period and it was a play that happens all over the ice. If that’s the standard for the night, fine, call it both ways. Neither team would then have a grip.
In the second period, Matt Grzelcyk was sent to the box for a cross-check that by rule, which technically a cross-check, but who remembers in Game 4 when Mathew Barzal not once, twice, but three times cross-checked David Krejci harder in the back, but Krejci got called for slashing, instead of a spearing major which was originally called? One has to wonder if the referees going to the video downgraded the penalty after seeing Barzal’s stick work on Krejci. Not sure how they missed that in live-action, but we move on.
The Islanders were whistled for two third-period penalties, but if the calls are going both ways, then they would have been called for infractions earlier than that. It will be interesting to how the whistles go in Game 6.
It’s unfortunate that the officials have become that talk of the series in what has been a good entertaining series between two good teams. The Bruins will look to avoid elimination tomorrow night in Game 6 at the Nassau Coliseum.